Licensing is a money-making process. Often times licensing is confused as a legal process. Legal is a part of it, but the core of licensing is a process to turn your IP into money-making products, services or technologies.
But what’s often overlooked is that it’s a process, meaning it is a continuous sequence of activities. These include testing and proving your IP works, figuring out the best way to license it, determining who are the right licensing partners, and delivering information about your IP to create a licensing deal.
Depending on what type of IP you own – patent, trademark, copyright or trade secrets – there are many ways to license it. Figuring out where your IP fits in the market is one of the steps that helps decide your licensing options. Is it a mass market product, or designed for a specific niche market? These require different types of licensing partners who are suited for these markets.
But before you can license your IP, you have to prove it’s valuable for a company to license it. Test marketing, regional or online sales, and direct response are all ways to proving there is a market and demand for your IP. It’s tough to license an IP if you don’t know if anyone will buy it.
Communication is a big part of licensing, and that means developing presentation materials to show potential licensing partners. This includes one or two page summaries, power point presentations and any other information needed to tell your IP story.
But the most important part of the licensing process is taking action. If you’re not doing anything to promote your IP, how can you find a licensing partner? Licensing takes time. Sometimes a deal develops in a few months, other times it can take years. But if you’re not in action with your IP, then nothing will happen with your IP.
Remember, an IP in motion makes money.
Here’s a quick video introduction to licensing that covers these key steps including finding the right fit, creating marketability, presenting your IP and negotiating the deal.