Whether you are an inventor with a market ready intellectual property, or a small business looking to leverage your IP assets, the starting point of your licensing process is creating a licensing strategy. The bottom line to a good licensing strategy is that it convinces a potential licensee to license your intellectual property.
Here’s a quick 6 step outline of how to create a licensing strategy:
- Secure IP Rights -These are either registered (i.e. trademarks, copyrights or patents) or unregistered (i.e. formulations, trade secrets, or knowhow) property rights.
- Develop Prototypes or Identify Product Categories – Build a working prototype or if your IP is a trademark, examples of appropriate types of products (i.e. shirts, toys, posters, etc).
- Build a Track Record – Test marketing, market research, and customer sales info are key to convincing potential licensees.
- Research Potential Licensee – Internet search engines (Google, Yahoo), trade associations (i.e. Apparel, Toys, etc.), and manufacturing databases (Thomasnet.com, Hoovers) are good starting points.
- Define the Licensing Relationship – These are the key licensing terms and conditions, including IP rights, licensee use and performance milestones.
- Create a Licensing Presentation – Summarize steps 1 – 5 and make it compelling.