Question: Where are some of the best places to source intellectual property that may be under exploited or under the radar that most people never really consider?
Answer: Licensing is all about trends and I always recommend using the Internet to find the latest trends. There’s a couple of websites you can use such as TrendHunter.com and SpringWise.com, that are great sources for monitoring the latest trends in business, social media and any number of cultural, entertainment or fashion trends.
Another resource is on-line searches, using search engines such as Google. You can use Google to find out what subjects are searched on a weekly or monthly basis.
In many cases, you can find trends that are licensing opportunities that nobody’s heard of. That’s often the case, especially when they seem to suddenly come out of nowhere. With a little research, you’ll be able to discover these trends, which in many cases have built for some time, and you can use licensing to capitalize on these trends.
Entertainment is a good example. You can find new entertainment properties that are just being launched on television, or early stage movies still in production, or new entertainment properties releasing on the Internet. Another example is video games, which are a great source to find new upcoming properties to license.
Keep in mind you don’t always have to find the big home run. There’s a lot of great niche properties out there, and if you can catch them early by doing some research on the Internet, you can often find an unexploited licensing opportunity. A good example is identifying new opportunities for licensing a major brand, such a product category that’s not being exploited. Just because a brand is very prominent doesn’t mean it’s in every product category.
If you have an idea, pick up the phone and find out if the property is available for licensing. You’ll never know if the licensing opportunity is available unless you ask. Call up and ask them, “Would you be interested in licensing?” If the response is, “Well, I never thought about that”, then you’ve just discovered a licensing opportunity.
When you discover a new licensing opportunity, the IP owner will most likely want to know what to know what you have in mind. You’ll have to present a proposal. If you’re not sure how to do this, then consider contacting a licensing consultant such as myself to help you make that presentation. Plus you get the added benefit of someone who’s knows what the licensor’s look for when considering a licensing partner.
Licensing is about trends. With a little research, you can find an inventor, brand or other intellectual property before it’s known, and use licensing to capitalize on the IP and it’s money making opportunities.
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.