Protecting your intellectual property takes time. Especially if it is a patent. Waiting to get your complete patent application through can take up to three years. What do you do in the meantime?
Spending too much time and money trying to get everything complete on your patent protection could cost you revenue opportunities. If your IP works and is market ready then it’s time to take action. As long as you’ve filed a solid patent with good claims, you’re ready to start licensing.
Another big mistake with patents is protecting the wrong parts of your IP. Rather than trying to protect everything, you should focus on the most valuable or the most commercially viable parts of your IP. For instance, if you have multiple inventions, don’t patent all of them. Instead, focus on the one that has the most commercial opportunity. That’s the one to protect and start making money with.
Getting bogged down and with lots of legal expenses to get a patent is a problem many IP owners face. Many people often confuse licensing as a legal process. It’s actually a money-making process. Consequently, they spend all their time and money trying to get the protection right and fail to take action on the money-making side.
This leads to the third mistake IP owners often make. Not figuring out what they want to do with their IP. Once you create it, test and prove that it works, you must do something with it. In many cases, I’ve met inventors who are reluctant to take any action in the market because they’re afraid somebody will steal their IP, or they’re just not sure how to take action.
If you’re stuck in the “legal fears” mode, you need to refocus on taking the right action steps to find a qualified licensing partner. Remember, getting your IP protected gives you a window of opportunity to generate revenue with your IP, either directly or through licensing. Through licensing, you can find a bigger partner to help protect your IP. And that helps you avoid big legal costs trying to defend it from an infringer.
That’s why it’s important to distinguish between spending too much time on the legal and not enough time on the licensing side. Don’t get bogged down in the legal protection process. If you do, you’ll wind up trying to perfect your protection instead of generating revenue with your IP.
If you’re stuck on what protection your IP needs, or what to do to license it, then let’s have a short discussion. I’ll help you clarify your options, and get you focused on the money-making opportunities for your IP.
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.