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PD Informational Article

Commercializing Your Invention/Product

© 2012, 2013 Patent Dominion Partnership L.P. 

I. Introduction

You're at the point where you have done what you can to protect your idea, invention, product technology, etc. Congratulations! However, by comparison, that is the “easy” part. Deployment (simply defined as making money) of the invention, etc., is much harder and much more expensive.

II. Deployment

Deployment includes such things as licensing, assignment, enforcement and commercialization (making and selling the product, etc.)

If you recall the adage – “The road to hell is paved with good intention,” remember that the adage could equally be expressed as “The road to hell is paved with good ideas” for there a far more failures than there are successes.

III. Licensing and Assignment (Sale)

The easiest and perhaps least expensive forms of deployment are licensing and assignment. The big issue is finding someone interested. Unless you are experienced at this sort of thing, it is wise to get some experienced professional help.

IV. Enforcement

If per chance you find one or more parties that you believe are infringing your Intellectual Property [IP – e.g patent(s)], then you can start the enforcement process. It is generally not that difficult to get to get a resolution for a modest amount. However, if the party is unwilling for whatever reason, then the process can get extremely expensive. Arbitration is a quicker, less expensive way to proceed but requires the agreement of both sides. If litigation is necessary, then the process will get much riskier, more time-consuming and much more expensive.

Experienced, qualified professional help with enforcement matters is a necessity.

V. Commercialization

The most difficult route of deployment for the individuals and small companies is commercialization. There are exceptions, of course, but, in general, this is a tough road requiring lots of money/funding and experienced people. [Note: Savvy investors look more at the who (their reputation and experience) than the what (the invention, idea, etc.) before making their decisions.]

Commercialization involves two main components: manufacture and marketing/sales. Your business plan should address both with much more time, money and resources allocated to sales/marketing. [Unfortunately, in this day and age of sophisticated and expensive marketing and sales, the quote from Poor Richard’s Almanac [“If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door”] is, for the most part, limited to ‘after sales’ events. The big deal is reaching the buyers. And, if your product is something new or involves a new approach to a solution, problem, etc., you also have to find a way to convince them to try your product. remeber, you won't the the established reputation or deep pockets of a large company.

Even if you are lucky enough to have adequate funding in place, a good business plan is essential. Unless you have a lot of experience with business plans, you should get an experienced resource to help you with them. For sales & marketing operations, more and different experienced resources will be required when the time comes.