Inventions for sale

All you need to know about inventions for sale

The invention is the result of effort and intelligence of an inventor. A question may arise in your curious minds that “how to these inventors make money out of it?” If you are an inventor yourself you are seeking for the ways to use your invention as a source of income. Of course, a successful invention will become your source of income. You can make your own business with your invention and if you are not confident of this option there is the second option for you. You may sell your invention or you may say the idea of the successful invention to any company willing to buy. The second way is very popular in recent times. In this article, we will discuss the topic of inventions for sale.

What does an invention for sale mean?

You can sell your invention to other company in case you are not in a state of making business. This company will make your invention marketable and in return, you will be paid a good amount of money. The company buying your idea of the invention will require the protection of a patent. The patent on the invention in your name will ensure that no other person gets to sell your idea of the invention.

In the following discussion, we will know about how to sell your invention and the procedure involved.

Understanding market demand and acceptance of the product:

Before you proceed with your plan for selling your idea of the invention, you should start some research work. Do some research about the demands in the contemporary market. It also requires testing amongst a group of known people who will give you honest feedback. This will give you a clear idea of the acceptance of your product. Also, ensure that your product will be the best of its kind in the market.

Ensure the patentability of your invention:

Your invention should be qualified for the grant of a patent from the USPTO. There should be no same invention same as yours which has been granted a patent previously. All the legal works required for the application for the grant of a patent are to comply with and preferably with the help of a registered patent agent.

The process of producing the invention:

The process of production of the invention should be documented for the investors. If in the process of production of the invention any unique or uncommon raw material is required, the details of the same should be provided by you.

Professional presentation for the investors:

This part is very important in the whole process of selling your invention. Prepare a presentation of your invention for the licensors whom you will approach for sale of your invention. this presentation should be brief but should be explaining all the dimensions of your invention including its benefits and key features. The process of production and materials required for such should also be mentioned in the presentation. If you have already received a patent on your invention provide adequate documents required to prove the same. If the application is in patent pending status that should also be mentioned in the presentation. You should never keep the investor or licensor in darkness by not disclosing any drawbacks of the product. You should give them a clear idea of the demand of such product in the market which you have come to know after extensive research.

Find out and approach the suitable company for your production:

When you are done with your preparation to sell the invention it is time to get in touch with investors. This too requires some market research. Make a list of a good number of investors out of many companies in the market who may be interested to buy your invention. it is easy to say but not so easy to do. So better understand the category in which your invention falls. After you have sorted out, look for those companies which are having businesses of the same category.

Not always big companies are the only option available. Sometimes smaller companies in areas where such products are not so popular or not very known may be beneficial. Such companies may make more business with your invention in unexplored areas. So choose the buyer wisely for better returns while selling your invention. This will ensure better returns from your invention.

inventions-for-sale

Decide the payment procedure and scale of it:

When you place your quote do not make it unrealistic. The payment should be done in three steps which are hereunder explained.

  • The first payment should be done at the beginning much before the procedure for sale even begin. This payment is like an advance against the royalty but popularly termed as an up-front payment. the amount of upfront payment varies and can be decided on the consensus of both the licensor and licensee.
  • Royalty is calculated on the basis of the annual sale of your product. You may claim within a range of 2-5% as royalty.
  • To ensure your benefit you should ask for an annual minimum. This will ensure you get a fixed amount of royalty apart from the royalty from the sale. With this, you will never be at a loss even if sales are down.

You have to earn from your invention for a longer period of time, so the scale should be kept pleasing both the licensor and your aim. So do not fall prey to lucrative deals which will give you money but for a short span of time. Decide wisely while selling your invention. Hope this article will help you to know everything about inventions for sale.

NON-DISCLOSURE / NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT

NON-DISCLOSURE / NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT

This agreement is made as of the 23rd day of June, 2002, by and between: ACME Inc. located in CITY, STATE and JOHN INVENTOR located in CITY, STATE.

This Agreement shall govern the conditions of disclosure by JOHN INVENTOR to ACME Inc. of certain “Confidential Information” including but not limited to prototypes, drawings, data, trade secrets and intellectual property relating to the “Patent Pending” invention named “Mouse Trap” invented by JOHN INVENTOR.
With regard to the Confidential Information, ACME Inc. hereby agrees:
1. Not to use the information therein except for evaluating its interest in entering a business relationship with JOHN INVENTOR, based on the invention.
2. To safeguard the information against disclosure to others with the same degree of care as exercised with its own information of a similar nature.
3. Not to disclose the information to others, without the express written permission of JOHN INVENTOR, except that:
a. which ACME Inc. can demonstrate by written records was previously known;
b. which are now, or become in the future, public knowledge other than through acts or omissions of ACME Inc.;
c. which are lawfully obtained by ACME Inc. from sources independent of JOHN INVENTOR;
4. That ACME Inc. shall not directly or indirectly acquire any interest in, or design, create, manufacture, sell or otherwise deal with any item or product, containing, based upon or derived from the information, except as may be expressly agreed to in writing by JOHN INVENTOR.
5. That the secrecy obligations of ACME Inc. with respect to the information shall continue for a period ending 3 years from the date hereof.

JOHN INVENTOR will be entitled to obtain an injunction to prevent threatened or continued violation of this Agreement, but failure to enforce this Agreement will not be deemed a waiver of this Agreement.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have hereunto executed this Agreement as of the day and year first above written.

ACME Inc.

By: _____________________________ Date: _____________

Title:___________________________

JOHN INVENTOR and SIGNATURE

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*** This is a sample and is not to be considered as legal advice of any sort. ***

Have an Idea? What is next?

From idea to invention

There are many different methods used by professional inventors designed to assist them through the invention process. Below, I will attempt to illustrate how the process should basically go from my personal experiences.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a patent lawyer or patent agent, I am an inventor. This is not legal advice and should not be constituted as such.

The first two things you can do for yourself are as follows:

Don’t be caught unaware and unprepared. Educate yourself by reading books, attending conventions and networking with other inventors to learn all you can about the entire invention process.

Do not trust promoters on invention and invention geared advertisements on the television. 99% of these are fraudulent and will cost you time, effort and a lot of money. Keeping yourself educated will help prevent you from being taken advantage of by con artists.

For a free reference and resource site, do not hesitate to subscribe to the InventNET forums, where you can connect with other inventors and find information that is vital to your line of work. This is an email based discussion group where inventors can receive quality answers to many questions.  Included among these may be answers to questions regarding the patenting process, the idea creation process, how to sell or license an invention and questions on problems you encounter while working on your own invention.

If you have questions about patenting and invention, don’t forget to check the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the information you are looking for. As all US patents are required to be registered with the USPTO, you may be able to find the answers you are looking for.

If you have an idea that you think is creative and new, you can follow the steps below in order to develop your idea.

1: Get a piece of paper and a pencil. Writing down all of the information you can on your idea is the first stage in creating an invention. This may require research, to ensure that you have the proper calculations behind your project written down. It is important to make sure you have as much detail as can possibly have for future stages of the project.

2: The next thing you need to do is explore the current markets for information on similar technologies. If your project will eventually become a consumer product, go to stores that would be likely to sell such products and look for things that are similar. Speak with the managers of each store to find out their opinions on your product, use the Internet to find more information regarding users, manufacturers and distributors of similar products. Contact these companies to find out specifications such as price and product information. You may need to visit these companies in person to discuss more in depth the requirements your product would have to meet to have a place in the current market.

3: After you have gathered all of the information you can, it is time for you to compare your invention with that information. You should be studying the novelty of the item, the marketing potentials, usefulness, productivity, price, and ease of manufacturing to begin with. This information will be able to help you form a firm foundation on what your product needs to really do. This may create some alterations to your original design, but it may be necessary in order to sell the product. It is suggested that you now go out and talk with potential users of your product and discover their opinions on it.

4: Now is the time where you must decide whether this project is worth patenting or not. This is a difficult decision to make, as you have to calculate the probability that this project will be a success. As marketing your product can cost up to 90% of all of your resources you put into it, you have to be very sure the risk is worth it.

REMEMBER: Only two percent of all patented items are successfully marketed. If your product looks risky, drop it and take on another one that will have a higher chance of success. This will save you a lot of time and effort.

When you are seeking to obtain a patent, there are several steps you will have to go through. The first is performing a patent search on the type of invention you plan on creating. A patent lawyer or patent agent basis his or her patentability opinion on a patent search. This search is used to determine whether someone has patented an invention similar to yours, which may have anticipated your invention. If this is the case, a patent examiner would have to reject the patent. This allows you to save you time and money, should a patent already exist for your idea.

Making certain that a patent doesn’t already exist that covers the same invention you are attempting to create can be done with the patent search. The first thing you will need to do in this case is perform a Classifications search. This is a part of a Preliminary search, which is free at the USPTO website. Doing this will save you money, as if your product is shown to not be a new, novel idea, then you won’t waste your time or resources working on something you cannot receive a patent for.

If you require further information on patent searches, you may read this Patent Search Tutorial.

In addition to doing your own search, you should also have one done professional. These experts are trained in doing searches for patents of various Classifications, which means you will have a definite answer on how good your chances are of receiving a patent. In general, patent searching experts will cost you $400-$800. This includes his or her patentability opinion.  As the patent process does cost several thousand dollars, this is a bad place to make a mistake.

5. Besides having technological knowledge, there are two aspects you must keep in mind before registering a patent. This process takes time and money. It will take you over 16 months to get your patent in most cases, sometimes up to as much as over two years. Expect to pay, at a minimum, of at least one thousand dollars. Most patents cost more than that, however. This is strictly dependent on what type of patent you are applying for.

6. If you have enough funds on hand, this would be an excellent time to find a patent attorney or agent to assist you through the rest of the process. Your choice should be determined by several factors. The first is to find a lawyer or agent that does not charge you for the initial visit. They must also charge a flat fee for their services. You can expect to have to pay between $2,500-$10,000. This agent or lawyer should be PTO registered.

7. If you do not have the funds required to hire a proper registered patent lawyer or agent, you may patent your invention on your own. This is a cheaper alternative. However, this can be a frustrating process. While it is not impossible, it is not easy, either.

There is now an on line patent application form available from the USPTO’s website.

8. If you are not comfortable with the final draft of your patent application, you may hire a patent agent or lawyer to proof read the draft for $500-$1,000.

9. If you have neither the time nor the money for the fees required to apply for a patent, you may consider going into partnership with an investor or another inventor, with the agreement that you will be sharing future royalties on the invention.

10. If you disclose the information about your invention to anyone before you have applied for a patent, you may not be eligible for a patent in most countries. The United States is one of the few exceptions to this rule, as they have a one year grace period in which you may apply for an application. You may, however, disclose the information on your patent prior to applying if you have had the viewer sign a non-disclosure agreement. This will not start the one year period in the United States, nor will it cause your invention to be inapplicable elsewhere.

11. A program called the Provisional Patent Application (PPA) helps you establish a priority right for your invention. This is an inexpensive way to show others that you have a patent pending. At a cost of $100, it is well worth the investment. You will have one year after you apply for this program to file a proper patent application.

IMPORTANT: This is not a patent and the information you send will not be examined, approved or denied by the USPTO. The information you provide will be filled and establish priority date for your invention only if you file a standard (real) patent application within 12 months.

To participate in this program you have to send a copy of the description of your invention to the United States Patent and Trademark Offices. You must be certain to include a clear and complete explanation of the manner, process and use of the invention in sufficient detail where a person with ordinary education in that field of study can reproduce and use this invention. The PPA should include sketches or drawings of your invention. The description of this item should match the one you send in with your real patent application or you will not be applicable for priority rights. To learn more about the PPA, you should go to the USPTO website and read the information on the pages you find there. This will give you a more precise and accurate description of the process required to make use of this program. Should you decide to file an application in this program, you can download and use software will all the requirements you need to make the process very simple.

For more information on the patent process, you can buy books that will help describe the process in further detail. One such book is Patent it Yourself by David Pressman.  Reading these books will give you access to information on how to describe your invention, and how drawings and claims are created. You will also find information on why you can place “Patent Pending” on inventions after you have filed your patent application.

Marketing your Inventions

You have established by now that your invention is unique and marketable. Now is the time where you make a plan for making money with your invention. You have two primary decisions you can make. First, you can sell or license your invention to others. Second, you can start your own business based on your invention.

There are many books that you can buy that will help you understand how to market your invention. These include, but are not limited to The Inventor’s Bible by Ron Docie, Marketing Your Invention by Thomas E. Mosley, Stand Alone, Inventor! by Robert G. Merrick, and Bringing Your Product to Market by Don Debelak.

Marketing your invention should start immediately after you have filed a patent application. Due to the time and effort involved in selling or licensing an invention, you should use every minute you have. This is something you can do by yourself. You may also choose to find someone else to do this for you. However, you should never pay any money up front to anyone. If they believe your invention has potential, they will do the marketing for a percentage of future royalties. This is where you want to make a list of manufacturers and potential users of your product. Contact the company managers and present yourself as a product developer and arrange a meeting. Do not introduce yourself as an inventor, in this case.

At this phase, you do not want to send any written presentations of your invention without a signed NDA, or Non-disclosure agreement.
Make a prototype that will show and demonstrate your invention’s performances better than words. Now is the time you want to participate at trade shows and inventing shows to display and show of your invention. You will also want to learn how to finance your own business based on your invention. Look for partners and venture capital to finance your new business.
At a very last resort, contact a contingent-fee invention broker to sell or license your invention to manufacturers.

The most important thing you should keep in mind is that you should not contact or use any invention submission company that charges you money in advance. As an Inventor, you need to be aware of invention scams, as they are out there waiting to take advantage of you. Do not market your invention until it is protected.
The subject of Invention and patenting is a vast one, and it is not my intention to present it here in complete form. Consider this short presentation as a starting point in your research.

Invention Marketing Scams

Invention Development & Marketing Scams

You may have a great idea for a new product or service, but a great idea is not enough. You need to know how to develop and market it commercially. You could try to sell your idea or invention to a manufacturer who would market it and pay you royalties. But finding such a company could be an overwhelming task. You also could consider using the services of an invention promotion firm.

Some invention promotion firms may help you get your idea or invention into the marketplace. But be aware, some inventors have paid thousands of dollars to firms that promised to evaluate, develop, patent, and market inventions and got nothing for their money.

So be cautious. Your enthusiasm for your idea may make you vulnerable to promoters who make false or exaggerated claims about the market potential of your invention.

This brochure tells you how to spot some common signs of trouble, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you become a victim. It also lists government agencies and private organizations that offer additional information and assistance.

How to Identify Legitimate Firms

Often, it is difficult to distinguish between a fraudulent invention promotion firm and a legitimate one. This may be because unscrupulous and honest firms often use many similar advertising and sales techniques, market evaluations, and contract strategies. However, there are some comparisons made in the next three sections that may help you identify legitimate companies.

Advertising and Sales Techniques

Some invention promotion firms advertise through television and radio, and classified ads in newspapers and magazines. They target independent inventors, frequently offering free information to help them patent and market inventions. They also may advertise a toll-free “800” telephone number that inventors can call for written information. However, the information may consist only of brochures about the promoter.

If you respond to the ads, you may hear from a salesperson who will ask for information about yourself, your idea, and a sketch of the invention. As an inducement, the firm may offer to do a free preliminary review of your invention.

Also, some invention promotion firms may claim to know or have special access to manufacturers who are likely to be interested in licensing your invention. Further, some promotion firms may claim to have been retained by manufacturers who are looking for new product ideas. These kinds of claims often can be false or exaggerated. Therefore, before signing a contract with an invention promotion firm who claims special relationships with appropriate manufacturers, ask for some proof.

A Market Evaluation

After giving your invention a preliminary review, a firm might tell you it needs to do a market evaluation on your idea, which may cost several hundred dollars. Such reports from questionable firms often make vague and general statements and provide no hard evidence that there is a consumer market for your invention. Reputable company reports, on the other hand, deal with specifics. Before you pay for a report on your idea, ask what specific information you will receive.

A Marketing and Licensing Contract

Some invention promotion firms also may offer you a contract where they agree to act as your exclusive marketing and licensing agent. For this, a questionable firm may require you to pay an upfront fee of as much as $10,000 and to commit a percentage of the royalties the invention may earn. On the other hand, reputable licensing agents typically do not rely principally on large upfront fees. They normally rely on royalties from the successful licensing of client inventions and are very selective about which ideas and inventions they pursue. A request for an upfront fee frequently is another distinguishing characteristic of a questionable invention promotion company.

How to Protect Yourself

If you are interested in working with an invention promotion firm, consider taking the following precautions before you sign a contract and pay significant amounts of money.

Early in your discussions with a promotion firm, ask what the total cost of its services will be. Consider it a warning if the salesperson hesitates to answer.

Be careful of an invention promotion firm that offers to review or evaluate your invention but refuses to disclose details concerning its criteria, system of review, and qualifications of company evaluators. Without this information, you cannot assess the competence of the firm or make meaningful comparisons with other firms. Reputable firms should provide you with an objective evaluation of the merit, technical feasibility, and commercial viability of your invention.

Require the firm to check on existing invention patents. Because unscrupulous firms are willing to promote virtually any idea or invention with no regard to its patentability, they may unwittingly promote an idea for which someone already has a valid, unexpired patent. This could mean that even if the promotional efforts on your invention are successful, you may find yourself the subject of a patent infringement lawsuit.

If no valid, unexpired patent exists for your idea, seek advice from a patent professional before authorizing the public disclosure of your idea.

Be wary of an invention promotion firm that will not disclose its success and rejection rates. Success rates show the number of clients who made more money from their invention than they paid to the firm. Rejection rates reflect the percentage of all ideas or inventions that were found unacceptable by the invention promotion company. Check with your state and local consumer protection officials to learn if invention promotion firms are required to disclose their success and rejection rates in your locality.

In reality, few inventions make it to the marketplace and still fewer become commercial successes. According to experts used in FTC cases, an invention promotion firm that does not reject most of the inventions it reviews may be unduly optimistic, if not dishonest, in its evaluations.

Be wary of a firm that claims to have special access to manufacturers looking for new products, but refuses to document such claims. Legitimate invention promotion firms substantiate their claims, which you can check.

Be skeptical of claims and assurances that your invention will make money. No one can guarantee your invention’s success.

Avoid being taken in solely on a firm’s promotional brochures and affiliations with impressive-sounding organizations.

Beware of high-pressure sales tactics.

Investigate the company before making any commitments. Call your Better Business Bureau, local consumer protection agency, and Attorney General in your state and the state in which the company is located to learn if they know of any unresolved consumer complaints about the firm.

Make sure your contract contains all agreed upon terms, written and verbal, before you sign. If possible, have the agreement reviewed by an attorney.

If you do not get satisfactory answers to all of your questions with an invention promotion firm, consider whether you want to sign a contract. Once a dishonest company has your money, it is unlikely you will ever get it back.

For More Information

A number of government agencies and private organizations offer publications and assistance to independent inventors. You can call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at (703) 557-4636 or go to USPTO scam prevention.

You also may want to call your SBA district office to learn about services available through the Small Business Development Centers program.

Inventor’s clubs, associations, and innovation centers also can be valuable sources of information and services. For their locations go to US Inventor Organizations

What to Do If You Are a Victim

If you believe you are a victim of a fraudulent invention promotion, first contact the firm and try to get your money back.

If you are unsuccessful, report your problem to your Better Business Bureau, local consumer protection agency, and the Attorney General in your state and in the state where the company is located. Your information may help an ongoing investigation or demonstrate the need for one.

You also may file a complaint with the FTC by writing: Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC generally does not intervene in individual disputes. However, the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations.

More on SCAMS from the FTC website with information for inventors about fraudulent companies