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Ultimately, all products must be manufactured to make it to market, however that doesn’t mean that you need to be the one to manufacture it.

 “I have a new invention that I’ve been working on.  I’ve done my research, I’ve met with a patent attorney to discuss patent options and I have investigated prototype and design options.  However, I’m just not sure how to actually go about producing and marketing my invention.  Do I need to arrange for manufacturing on my own, which seems like a challenging process in itself, or are there other options that I can explore for succeeding with my invention?” 

 

Does this line of thinking sound familiar?  Ultimately, every inventor reaches the point where they need to decide on how they are going to proceed with commercializing their invention.  They must choose how to develop, manufacture and market the product.   Many inventors are interested in facilitating and managing the process on their own, while many others would prefer to find a company to handle the process for them.   Whatever the case, after the idea has been protected with a patent, the inventor must weigh these options and decide which one is the right choice for his or her specific situation. 

Oftentimes, inventors are either unaware of the options for taking their inventions to market or they automatically assume that inventing requires them to manufacture and market their invention on their own.  As a result of not being familiar with the options for commercializing their inventions, many inventors end up pursuing a less suitable approach for their particular situation, which can cost them a lot of time and money.

 

If you are new to the business of inventing or are not really sure how an inventor actually makes money from an invention, consider the following options. 

Licensing the invention for royalties:

When you are trying to license your invention for royalties, the end result of all your hard work is to secure a license agreement.  A license agreement is when the inventor [licensor] agrees to let a third party [licensee] commercially use his invention for a period of time.  As a result of the agreement, the inventor would receive either an ongoing payment called a royalty, which would normally be calculated as a percentage of sales of the invention or a one-time lump-sum payment.  Typically, the company that licenses the invention would manufacture and market the invention.  The likelihood of an inventor striking a license agreement would depend on the premise that the inventor has “rights” to the invention (i.e., a patent).  Without patent protection, any individual or company could make or sell the invention; therefore, it would be less likely that a company would license or buy the invention. 

Need Help Licensing Your Invention For Royalties?  Call InventionHome 1-866-846512.

 

Assigning or Selling the Invention:

When the inventor assigns his rights, he is permanently transferring or selling ownership in the invention/patent.  The inventor may receive a lump sum payment or a series of payments.  The difference between a “license” and “assignment” is in the transfer of rights.  With a license, the inventor retains rights, like “renting” the patent, and with an assignment they transfer their rights (i.e., sell it).

Developing & Manufacturing the Invention:

When developing and manufacturing on your own, you are taking on the responsibility of facilitating and managing the process of setting up manufacturing either through domestic or overseas manufacturers.   You hire a manufacturing company to produce your product.  While you maintain control of your invention, you also assume the risks and costs that are associated with the process.  Keep in mind that if you manufacture your invention overseas you should also develop an understanding of how you will import, warehouse and distribute the product.

Remember that every invention is different in terms of its complexity and structure. This should be taken into account when deciding whether to license the idea or manufacture.  For some inventions, little development and setup is required, which can simplify the manufacturing process, however, other inventions may be much more complex requiring in-depth research, engineering, tooling, molds etc. for mass production.  As a result, manufacturing can be very expensive and usually involves a large set-up fee for tooling, molds, etc., and once the invention is ready, there may be a minimum order requirement to pay for inventory.  Some manufacturers can offer short-run production where they’ll make a small order in hopes that the larger orders will come later, but many require the inventor to pay for a large number of units that can result in unsold product and loss of money if the invention does not sell.  Overseas manufacturing can have added frustrations associated with the difficulties of finding and communicating with a foreign company. 

For the inventor who finds these aspects of manufacturing to be too costly, too difficult or too much of a hassle, seeking a licensing agreement could be a more suitable solution.  If the invention is licensed, usually the company that licenses the invention will handle the manufacturing, which allows the inventor to shift the cost and risks to the company that licenses the invention.  With licensing, the inventor can rely on the company’s experience and established business to develop and market the product. 

Typically, entrepreneurs with aspirations of turning their inventions into a business where they would sell their product would be the best candidates for manufacturing.   Manufacturing and marketing an invention can be an exciting and rewarding approach for some inventors but the process should be looked at more as a business venture, as it requires the inventor to have substantial capital and a well thought out plan on how to develop, manufacture and market their idea. Manufacturing is very different than finding a company to license the invention, and should not be jumped into without examining the risks and carefully planning the best route for success

Now that you have a better understanding of the options for commercializing your invention, it is easier to see why it’s important to think through the options and determine what makes sense for your situation.  It doesn’t make sense to select one approach such as manufacturing your invention when licensing may have been a better solution for your situation. 

For example, suppose you invented a new, innovative pet-grooming device and after completing the patent process you decide that you are going to develop and manufacture the invention on your own.  You jump on the Internet and spend the next few weeks researching overseas manufacturers to develop and produce your invention.  Let’s assume that everything goes smoothly and quickly, which it usually doesn’t, and four to six months later you end up with a finished product and a shipment of inventory sitting in your garage.  More than likely, at this point, you would have invested tens of thousands of dollars in your invention and it’s likely that you may not have even secured buyer interest or a purchase order. 

Most established product companies and manufacturers don’t pull the trigger on manufacturing until they have done exhaustive market research and testing (i.e., due diligence) and ideally have secured purchase orders or commitments from their customers.  However, as a new inventor, you may not have thought about securing interest or purchase orders before paying to have your product manufactured.  As a result, you’re now looking to sell your product either directly to consumers via a website that you will develop, or you begin to look for another company to wholesale your invention.  As the example continues, you later realize that having a website to sell your product to consumers is only as good as the marketing behind the website (i.e.: no one knows about your website) and eventually you begin looking for a larger pet company to license your invention. 

Let’s say that you succeed in finding a company and they agree to license the product from you.  While negotiating the agreement you discover that they manufacture all of their products in Taiwan, whereas your factory is in China, so they will take over production and scrap your manufacturing setup.  At this point, you begin to ask yourself if you could have reached the same license agreement without going through all the hassles and costs associated with setting up the manufacturing.  If only you would have known that ultimately you would have ended up licensing your invention.  Although this scenario is just an example, it should highlight the need to think through not just the manufacturing aspect of the process, but what strategies are needed to market the invention after inventory has been produced. 

It is important to remember that while neither licensing nor manufacturing is a guaranteed success, taking the time to understand the options for taking your invention to market and thinking through what your goals are prior to leaping into either option will help you take the path that’s right for you and your invention as you continue along the road of inventing.

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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InventionHome is pleased to announce the successful completion of their 112th marketing/license agreement, 32 of which occurred in calendar year 2010 (as of September 30th).  An impressive tally of brokered deals.

 

InventionHome’s most recent licensing success is a product called CapTails™.  The patented device connects glasses (sunglasses, safety glasses, etc.) to a hat by means of stretchable and adjustable clips and a cord.  CapTailsTM allow the user to wear their eyewear on top of their cap and not have to worry about them falling off and getting lost or broken. Also when your glasses are on, your cap can not blow away.

The licensee of the clever device took interest in the product because of its simplicity and unique position in the market.  It will complement the rest of their product line nicely, and has already drawn the interest of a national retailer.  CapTailsTM should reach the retail market in early 2011.

Call 1-866-844-6512 for information on licensing your invention for royalties!

 

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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What does that mean…National Inventors Month?  The designation was assigned back in 1998 by several organizations (the United Inventors Association, the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventors Digest magazine).  It is meant to honor those among us who think “outside the box”, and to encourage even more free thinkers to think freely! 

Here’s the thing…you don’t have to be a scientist, a genius or a millionaire to have a clever invention idea.  Good ideas can come from ANYONE.  Patrick Raymond, Executive Director of the United Inventors Association (UIA) comments:  “National Inventors Month is a time to reflect on all those crazy ideas you have while standing in the shower. Resolve to pick ONE and try to make it a reality that would have maximum positive impact on you and the world. Rinse, repeat.”

At InventionHome, we’ve developed a streamlined process to enable everyday people to take an idea and pursue it.  We assist thousands of busy people who work full-time jobs, raise families, or just aren’t interested in handling all the details themselves, and we do it with attention to superior customer service and providing exceptional value.  

To get started with you idea call 1-866-844-6512.

Now, to get us in the spirit of celebrating Your Month, we thought it would be fun to share a few fun inventor facts.

Did you know…

 

…that Henry Ford’s lawyer was advised by Michigan Savings Bank’s president NOT to invest in Ford Motor Company? He is quoted as saying, “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.”

…that the formulas for both Cola-Cola and Silly Putty have never been patented?  Rather, both companies hold trade secrets which are shared only with their most trustworthy employees.  Both products have withheld the test of time…after many attempts to replicate the products, no one has yet succeeded.

…that Benjamin Franklin’s inspiration for bifocals came because he hated wearing two pairs of glasses?

…that Ivory Soap was accidentally invented when an employee left the soap mixing machine on too long? To hide the evidence of his mistake, he threw the mixture in a nearby stream. But he couldn’t hide the soap that floats – it floated to the surface, and the rest is history!

…that the Band-Aid® Bandage was truly a product of “necessity”?  A Johnson & Johnson employee named Earl Dickson was tending to his accident-prone wife who had cut her finger.  He aspired to create a bandage that she could apply herself, when he was at work.  He placed a small piece of gauze in the center of a piece of surgical tape, and that inspiration led to today’s self-adhesive bandage.

…that after evaluating Charles Darrow’s sample of Monopoly, executives from Parker Brothers turned down the game because it had “52 fundamental errors” (including taking too long to play).  Well, somehow the sample wound up in the home of the company president who stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish playing it.  He enjoyed it immensely…and now, 75 years later, 275 million games have been sold worldwide and it’s available in 111 countries and in 43 languages.

…that Steve Jobs created the first Apple computer in his parents’ garage? As a college student,  Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak worked at a feverish pace in that garage building their computers for fellow students.  To raise $1300 cash for parts, Jobs sold his old VW bus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett Packard calculator. The following year (1977) Apple sales hit $800,000 and went on to become a Fortune 500 company in a record five years!

…that “patent leather” received its name because the process to apply the shiny black finish to leather was once patented?

For more information about InventionHome.com visit – http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.startupnation.com/community/InventionHome, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home, http://twitter.com/inventionhome.

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Invention service provider InventionHome.com sponsors inventor venues at two major industry tradeshows.

Monroeville, PA. June 29, 2010 – InventionHome is pleased to recap our recent tradeshow adventures.  In early May, we sponsored the “Inventors Spotlight” area of the National Hardware Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  InventionHome president, Russell Williams, served as a judge/panelist along with other esteemed invention-industry experts.  Nearly 80 inventors participated in the pavilion, and found immeasurable value in both the educational speaker series and the show traffic which included representatives from Black & Decker, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and thousands of other hardware manufacturers and retailers.

Also in May, we sponsored the “Inventors Pavilion” at the Response Expo which was held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.  This tradeshow spotlighted Direct Response TV companies, products and vendors.  In addition to exhibiting in the Pavilion, Inventors were given the opportunity to attend seminars from industry experts and pitch their product in person to BJ Global Direct. 

Both tradeshows provided excellent opportunities for InventionHome representatives to reconnect with familiar companies and bring many new companies onboard with our streamlined HotLinksTM system for sharing unique product ideas available for license.   

To get started with your invention, call – 1-866-844-6512

NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW & RESPONSE EXPO 2010

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For more information about the tradeshows:

National Hardware Show:  http://www.nationalhardwareshow.com/

Response Expo:  http://www.responsemagazine.com/response-expo/home-page

We have additional tradeshows scheduled for fall and winter 2010 and will provide further info as it becomes available.

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Believe it or not, it’s not as hard as you may think to land a royalty deal on a product invention…provided you have a truly unique and innovative idea to start with and you have some important steps completed before approaching companies.  In addition, you need go into the process realizing that finding a good company to invest and believe in your idea can take time.  Royalty deals do not happen over night. 

 

 

To begin, let me step back and explain what I mean by “royalty deal”, which is more commonly referred to as a Licensing Agreement.

If you aspire to earn royalties from your invention, then the typical arrangement would be to secure a License Agreement with an interested company. A License Agreement is the legal document between an inventor [licensor] and a third party [licensee] which defines specific terms by which the licensee can commercially use the licensor’s invention. Among other things, the Agreement will define a time period, royalty rate, payment schedule, cash advance, minimum annual payments, etc. As a result of the Agreement, the inventor may receive an ongoing payment calculated as a percentage of sales (called a “royalty”), or a one-time lump-sum payment.

” Inventors do NOT need to mortgage their homes to pursue an invention.  All you need is a patent application filed and a prototype/design to pursue a royalty deal.”

 

Another option would be for an inventor to assign his rights, which is essentially the process of transferring or selling ownership in the invention/patent. The inventor may receive a lump sum payment or a series of payments. The difference between a “license” and “assignment” is in the transfer of rights. With a license, the inventor retains rights, like “renting” the patent, and with an assignment they transfer their rights (i.e., sell it).

In addition to having a good idea there are other considerations when preparing your invention for license, such as intellectual property protection (i.e.: patent, trademark or copyright), development and presentation.

It is important to understand that manufacturing your idea is NOT a requirement to license your invention for royalties. Many inventors believe that they need to setup manufacturing to pursue their inventions, which is not true. If your goal is to license your invention for royalties, I would not advise going down the path of setting up manufacturing capabilities. Assuming you have a good invention to start, you can approach companies about licensing your invention with a patent application filed, a prototype or design in place and a reasonably good presentation on why they should license your invention.

In summary, it is very possible to license a good invention for royalties. My company, InventionHome has completed over 100 marketing/license agreements and we’re seeing tremendous interest in new and innovative products.

 

For more information call – 1-866-844-6512

 

 

 

 

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Inventor Mike Esposito invented the Vertical Grill to solve the problem of grease drippings creating smoke flare-ups that leave carcinogens on the food.

The Vertical Grill was designed so that grease drippings fall into a basin at the bottom of the grill. Food is placed in a custom grilling basket and hung between two charcoal heating columns. This also enables the food to be cooked on both sides simultaneously in half the time as conventional grilling. The Grill also has a standard grilling surface at the top which is ideal for toasting buns or roasting corn on the cob.

To learn how to license Mike’s Vertical Grill, please contact the marketing department (member@inventionhome.com) at InventionHome.

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SnuggieTM creator breaks ground on new product infomercial Allstar Marketing Group is well-known for creating successful TV products such as the SnuggieTM, the Topsy Turvy®, and the Perfect BrownieTM. We’re hopeful that their next big success will have roots with InventionHome.

The infomercial giant recently licensed an InventionHome product, and they are slated to begin production on the infomercial in early May. Although we can’t disclose product details at this time (we’re sworn to secrecy), we CAN provide a list of criteria that are used to evaluate a products’ potential infomercial success.

Take a look.

  • Does the product have mass appeal? (Would many people buy it?)
  • Does the product demonstrate well? (Would it make an interesting demo?)
  • Is there sufficient markup potential? (Most ‘As Seen on TV’ products have a four to five-time markup) Does the product solve a real problem? (Ideally will provide an immediate benefit…not just a preventative/potential problem)
  • Would the product likely sell for $19.99? (Higher retails might be considered for a longer-format TV spot, but $19.99 is an ideal price point)

If you believe that your invention would make a good infomercial product, InventionHome can help approach Allstar and other companies seeking new, TV-worthy items. 

Click to Request FREE Info Kit –   or call 866-844-6512

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