So far, it has not been easy for inventors to evaluate their inventions, although almost all inventors think highly of their inventions. Mainly because they could envision a future where their idea made the impact it was meant to and changed the lives of those who benefit from it. However, that vision remains hard to share and pitch to interested buyers and even developer partners, as discussed previously. There are the main factors of portfolio and infringements that could highly influence in value of intellectual property, and there are others.
The commercial side of the invention is usually the first obstacle that inventors face going to the market. How much does it cost to make your solution available, how much are those benefiting from it are willing to pay, and most importantly, and most importantly, how big is the market? Although some of these aspects are the last to come into inventors’ minds, they happen to determine the fate of the invention.
Is the invention in a currently ‘hot’ market? In the 1920s that would be the automobile industry, in the 1980s that would be personal computers and their software followed shortly after. Currently, the race could be towards augmented and virtual realities. The closer your invention to what’s currently sought the more valuable your invention could be. However, that too can be speculative, your insight or invention itself can have an effect on the current status of such markets and where it’s headed. Also, your invention can be related to more steady markets like those related to hobbies, home, garden, construction, tools, etc.
Visibility and development are two factors that we, at IntegraPitch, believe have a major effect on the value of your invention. Going to your local inventors’ club or association is a good way to get your invention visibility, but how many would really see your invention and get to judge it? Are they experts in your field? Are they interested in acquiring or developing your invention for equity? One should take such limitations seriously. By all means, try to get the most visibility to your invention, study its market and how it can be presented to possible investors and development partners to increase the value of your Intellectual Property, Patents, and inventions.
A single patent can be offered as low as $5000 to $3500 per single patent offered for sale, to an average of $175000 for more developed patent packages. Our approach, at IntegraPitch, is giving every invention the opportunity to be seen, interested CAD and Prototype Engineers could be an invention’s first believers, and developing such IP increases its value exponentially. And equity is a great solution because a share of a big pie can be better than a single cookie.
Over 90% of the world’s patents do not get realized, that’s over 2.7 million patents annually. Those who are close to us may have already heard us almost scream this line. But why? Why don’t patents simply become an active solution and get rewarded for it? Well, it's all about what comes after the patent application, the development stage. Developing a patent is what steers the invention to intersect with the industry, turns into a portfolio, and starts to attract attention.
One way to start developing your patent is by heading to your local inventor’s group, it could be an alliance, like the Philadelphia Inventors Alliance, or an association, like the Inventors Association of Manhattan. Such groups usually are a great resource for inventors, one place to find industry experts, IP lawyers, and manufacturing partners. They might even hold meetings where they feature invention pitches or inventors guidance sessions. They'd also try to help inventors navigate the development process to avoid losing their investment with manufacturers with no record of successfully launching inventions.
Another way would be to pitch builders and marketers to build and license your patent. This is a long the have all odds stacked against it. However, it is still possible that you pitch your invention idea to partners like Invention City, for example, and they’d have it evaluated. If they decide to move forward with your invention, they’ll have it developed and licensed for free. But even free would cost you. It’d cost you a licensing percentage, a lot of pitching to get to the right partnership deal, and an IP lawyer in your corner.
What we have last is definitely not least, the Maker community. The only way that we found to have access to the maker community is by being a maker. Although inventors and makers join the same general scope of creation. Inventors are usually more into creating something totally new to fill in a certain gap in the currently available solutions. Makers on the other hand are passionate about the process of getting products or solutions to perform as they’re supposed to. Novelty is not prioritized as much as it is in the inventor communities. That being said, it’d be a great idea to attempt to partner with or pitch to the Maker community. Slim chances as pitching for ‘Free’ licensing deals. But still on the table nonetheless.
What we’re building at IntegraPitch is a platform for all those in the market to invent, make, market, or partner to bring a tangible solution to life. It’s all about inventions after all. If the inventor believes it will work, and a CAD designer knows how it should be like to work, then it’s easier for a prototype engineer to make it work and all participants become the village it took to prove the invention’s concept. And that village would share the ownership of the Intellectual Property and have it acquired through our platform as well.
To invent, not much is needed actually. You recognize a problem, a solution pops into your head. Or as Don Draper puts it 'Peggy, just think about it. Deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will jump up in your face.' That’s the easy part. The hard part is what to do with it. Well, it really depends. Peggy here was creating ideas as part of her day job. The role was literally called “Creative”. However, it’s not always the case. What type of ‘creative’ are you? Your lifestyle and personal traits can have a lot to do with that.
An inventor who leads less structured life, irregular or self employment, usually more capable of spotting issues with different industries not necessarily related to their own. It’s easier to spot something that can be done better from a distance. Working too close can become so systematic that the flows in processes can be compensated by expert workarounds. In this case outside inventors can pitch new ways of doing such generally accepted practices.
Another type of inventors are those who are paid to find flows and make processes better. Those are geniuses who keep on pushing their own limits. They even criticize their own inventions and findings. ‘There’s always room for improvement’, I can almost hear it in their heads. Such lifestyles usually lead to tremendous expertise in one specific area. You might have heard it, ‘They dedicated the majority of their lives to the study of ______’ and fill in the blank.
And there are those inventive teams who have a set of problems to solve, together. Day in and day out, these teams would meet, discuss, brainstorm, and criticize each other’s thesis and work on the most resilient ones. Although such teams are usually paid employees, they can also be simply enthusiastic about a certain field and have the time and resource to pour into it until they come up with something new. Do garage bands and man-cave-project-focused-friends count into this type, probably.
Now if you’re the owner of your invention, refer to employer agreements mentioned in our invention journey blog, you’ll have to decide what type of inventor you are. It’d make sense to consider options that are suitable for your lifestyle and traits. If you’re working in an industry and think you have a better holistic solution, you might want to start your own business around it. If you’re more of a freestyle inventor, you might consider leasing or selling your invention’s IP. Don’t want to invest much on every great idea you have, consider listing it on our platform. Design and prototype engineers might be able to contribute to it for a percentage of its sale price and if it doesn’t get that much traction, you can move on the next great idea, who knows?
You’ve got a great idea for a product that would help thousands if not millions of people? This is just the beginning of a long journey which many decide not to take. But for those who do, I command your courage. To start, every invention must go through a proper market research process, you may think of attempting that yourself, following the USPTO’s Seven Step Strategy or hire a professional, I’d recommend the latter. We’ll not go through the entire invention process but let’s say you’ve acquired the patent of this great invention. Now what? It's time to make some money out of it. Depending on the size, scope, field, and market, you may think of a few options.
If it’s a small gadget, you may think of following the design and prototype yourself, out of pocket. This is where many inventors fall prey to firms that ‘help’ in this process. Actually, the Inventor Protection Act of 1999 has addressed this issue and made it compulsory that these firms disclose the percentage of inventions that they helped bring to the market and made their owners money from royalties more than what they've spent. Jeff Dobkin from the Philadelphia Inventors Alliance has posted an important warning about that.
For more complex solutions, let's say, for example, in the field of renewable energy, one might think of licensing their patent. But who would have a great patentable invention in such fields, usually people working in them. So, if you’re an employee, this is the time that you check your employment agreement. Most of those agreements state that the employers own the Intellectual Property produced by their active employees. That’s not the only case though, you can be self employed, between jobs, or, my favorite, applying expertise from one industry to another. So try to license, but do your homework first.
A couple of factors that have a huge effect on how much money your patent can generate are infringement and portfolio. An Intellectual Property that is already being infringed by a company has more chance of having a high return either by licensing to such company or getting acquired by it can be a safer option. Portfolio, multiple patents, on the other hand strengthens the applicability of such patents. To achieve a profitable portfolio, an inventor might consider developing the solution to its full potential and then attempt to patent all possible intellectual property around it. Additionally, one can also show the multiple applications of a single patent to be considered as a portfolio.
In all cases, an inventor should consider all available options when trying to monetize their invention. We, at IntegraPitch, believe in simplicity and that patents are meant to get developed with experts for equity and offered for acquisition. However, it is and should not be your only option. And always consult with a legal professional. Your local inventors’ association or club can help as well.
Inventions are prophecies completely formed in the mind of the inventor. At its core, it's all about making the lives of others a little easier. Inventors, like prophets, will take the pain and suffering to convince the first 10, then 100, then the entire world that there is a better way to do things. That our pain does not need to be part of our daily routines. "Here, have this solution," they'd think "it would make your life a little easier."
As prophets, inventors have overcome many obstacles in their way to deliver their message, to show the world that things can be done differently. They’ve tried to convince their communities, they spent their savings, and even dropped off their daily jobs or studies to pursue that cause. But not all have made it.
Actually, over 90% of granted patents around the world do not get realized, for the above reasons. It's not about the inventors’ losses, really. Because inventors are people of cause. But it's the inventions' loss, those ideas that never got a proper chance, haven’t been seen or heard enough. Those ideas withered in malnutrition, all they got was criticism and financial analysis but no love, no hope, and limited imaginations.
We’re growing a creative community of inventors, designers, and engineers. We are a village full of people who are willing to give every idea a chance. One person’s idea and another’s passion and belief can make magic happen. Because it’s not about you and/or me, it’s about what we both can add to this world, together.
March 2020 I had this great idea. An invention that can elevate the cooking game and become a home brands and helps hundreds of thousands of homemakers. So I thought "What to do now that I had this invention idea?". Obviously, the first thing was "Google it! So I did. I then applied for a provisional patent to secure my invention and priority date. and went head on to find a solution to have the invention developed.
Most of the solutions revolved around working with some product developers workshops, and in my case, someone who would "help" bring the product to the marker. I contacted a couple of those and had myself a phone call with one of them. It was definitely an eye opener but ended with a huge ask. "You're looking at a 25k to start and up to 25k to develop your invention and have a proof of concept. And I thought like inventors think "There must be another way!".
The other way for me was to have the invention designed, and then try to prototype it myself. However, the actual solution was to have someone else develop it for my and share the proceeds. Because at the end of the day, I want to continue to invent and not be bound to a multiple-year journey developing a single invention. And hence, I had my other patent application ready.
This time, it's not about my inventions. it's about the millions of inventions that end up hanging on walls like trophies. That's more than 90% of granted patents every year. If we are collaborating to invent, the risk to self and other's loss is minimized and each and every invention has its clear shot at success. And that's what we do in IntegraPitch. we Lift Ideas, together.