Are you grossly under-using or undervaluing the worth of your intellectual property in the market place? If so, it’s not surprising.
Many IP owners I meet don’t understand how to make money with it. They either follow the outdated thinking of “I must start a business to make money with it”, or are simply following a lot of bad licensing advice. The result is you wind up underestimating the value of your IP, you feel confused about how to turn it into cash flow, and you don’t know how to price and position it in the marketplace.
Finding the right kind of IP advice is one of the biggest challenges for most IP owners today. A recent survey of 800 businesses in the UK revealed the three biggest issues when it comes to licensing advice:
- A lack of understanding what IP professionals do;
- Don’t know where to get the right kind of strategic advice for managing their IP assets;
- A perception that managing their IP assets is a costly undertaking.
Getting IP advice is costly if it’s not the right kind of advice. While there are many types of IP professionals – from IP attorneys to patent agents to licensing agents and consultants – the question is which one do you use to get the right kind of advice for your particular situation?
The most familiar form is legal advice but that only addresses the issues of registration and infringement. What about business advice on how to manage and use your IP to get the highest return on your IP investment? There are many types of business advisers, including business coaches, marketing, sales and any number of professional type of specialty advisers. While these are all good, few if any are experts in managing and making money with intellectual property.
To get the right advice you need the help of an IP licensing professional, such as a licensing agent or consultant. These professionals save you time, money and resources. They offer consulting services to help you develop and position your IP so it’s attractive to potential licensees. They help you expand your IP into new uses or applications, know to package your IP, and the best way to present the licensing opportunity. The biggest benefit to using a licensing professional is their expertise and contact database of potential licensing partners. They speed up the licensing process because they know which companies will be best suited for (and interested in) your IP.
For most IP owners, licensing is a far easier and less risky option than to commercialize it directly. It’s an ideal option if you lack the resources to commercialize your IP or you’re not interested in starting and running a company. Licensing a well-established company already making and selling products similar to your IP also increases your chances for success in the market.
You wouldn’t hire plumber to give you financial advice. The same holds true for your intellectual property. Today more than ever, you need the advice of an IP licensing professional to help you understand the potential value your IP, and how to manage and license it to get the greatest return on your IP investment.
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.