I’m always amazed when I ask IP owners what they are doing with their intellectual property. Most of the time, the answer is nothing. If you don’t start the race, you’ll never finish.
A number of years ago I met a gentlemen in a restaurant. When he learned I did licensing, it suddenly struck a cord with him. He’d been sitting on a new trading card technology and didn’t know what to do with it. Since he had mentioned he was a soccer fan during our discussion, I suggested he license well know soccer teams. He quickly brought me on-board, and I helped him license the rights to use several European soccer team logos and player images on his trading cards. These licenses also opened the door to distribution opportunities, and he was able to get his trading cards placed in several big retail chains throughout Europe.
Awareness about what have and what you can do with your IP is often the trigger for action (I discussed this in the previous article on IP Awareness). Here’s one of the easiest first steps you can take to get your IP in action. Create an IP Inventory so you know what you have. Keep in mind your IP includes more than just your products, services or brand. It also includes your know-how, expertise, customer information, software source code, business models, databases, operations manuals, professional expertise and much more.
Once you know what you have, you’re ready to take your next action steps. This includes developing a licensing plan, building your IP value, finding potential partners, creating an IP profile, setting up a web page and any number of actions steps you must take to develop licensing deals.
The first step to taking action with your IP can be intimidating. But don’t let your lack of knowledge or understanding stop you. The most important action you can take is to get into action.
Remember, an IP in motion makes money.
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.