The biggest reason most IP owners fail at licensing is they fail to take action. They don’t do anything with their intellectual property. Unless you do something with it, it isn’t worth anything.
Many IP owners, especially those who like to create and invent, have a closet full of IP that’s going nowhere. Just because you get it registered as a copyright or trademark, or receive a patent, doesn’t mean the IP is worth anything. You have to prove your IP’s value.
Unless it works, increases revenues, lowers costs, provides a competitive advantage, or does something cheaper, faster and better, it isn’t worth anything.
The best thing that you can do to succeed in licensing is to confirm the value of your technology or your product. Rather than spending all your time trying to build a business, set up distribution channels or hire people, you’d be better off using that money to build and validate that customers want / will buy your technology or product. The better you can document this – the more you can prove its value – the higher the likelihood you’ll succeed in licensing.
Keep in mind, that’s what licensing partners are willing to pay for. Some things you can do to prove your IP value is test on-line by making offers through social media such as Facebook, or going to on-line product testing sites where you can submit your IP or your invention and get it “crowd sourced” tested. Customer feedback is one of the most powerful ways of confirming the value of your IP.
And, by the way, you don’t have to sell a lot of your product or technology to confirm its market value. One of my clients built some early versions of their product and sold about 2000 units. Because they received a great response in the form of testimonials (and sales), it was enough to confirm the value of their technology. Plus they backed that up with lots of technology research. When I presented it to potential licensing partners, ultimately we were successful in signing one because they saw the value in licensing the technology.
You can do the same thing by focusing on proving your IP value. The more you can document its value, the more successful you’ll be in licensing it.
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.