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Willing to share invention rights?

Postby Persistent1 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:34 pm

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Hello, I'm new to the forum but I've had inventions in my mind for years. I wonder if it seems naive to think I couldn't find an engineer to split the rights with that could help build a prototype (electrical and plastic)? I am very good mechanically and I am a woodworker as well. I could make a rough proto but I'd gladly give up part ownership to get the ball rolling. I have a list of 38 inventions or innovations I've written down but I'm autistic and I have a million ideas but I am my own worst critic and I lose momentum. I probably could have been a millionaire by now, well here's to starting today. I have products in mind that have huge markets as well as small markets. Some inventions I have removed from my list because other people finally invented them and are for sale currently. I'm really easy going and very creative. Any advice?

Re: Willing to share invention rights?

Postby Scrupulous » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:56 pm

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I'm assuming that you're interested in a prototype, so that you can entice additional people to get onboard with your idea. My question is why a physical prototype, as opposed to a computer model or a patent filing? The latter are almost strictly services, which seem to be easier to barter with than the raw materials required for physical prototypes.

There's nothing wrong with your overall approach...offer a percentage of ownership in exchange for value added contributions. It minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses while it creates an incentive for others toward a common goal. But, given that the strategy is essentially to spend no money, and turn a piece of intellectual property into an income stream, why go outside of that strategy when bringing in partners. Why not keep it entirely a zero-capital-investment enterprise across the board?

In other words, look for partners who are in a position to contribute value-added services only. That could include solid modeling, IP rights and positioning, internet marketing and web design, licensing, and so on. All of these things can be based on contingency. The agreements required to put this into effect are not even a problem, because that is also a service which can be exchanged for a contingency...a partial ownership in the invention itself.

One important thing is calculating what those percentages will be, so that they are enough to entice the right people (assuming they just love your idea). Don't be so quick to make them calculate the right percentage, because that's just one more expenditure of time that they would be taking a risk on.

Let's say you have a $100,000 idea, meaning that might be the net profit available from the project when all is said and done. I know...not quite a million, but hey. That means you have a hundred thousand bucks of interest in the project to divvy up between all the partners who will have made it happen.

So, you may be willing to commit a percentage of that to a brilliant designer who can really optimize the cosmetic appeal of this product. If you think that work is worth 10% of the endeavor, then you ought to be willing to indebt ownership to him or her in the hypothetical amount of $10,000. Realistically, you would keep it at 10% because the actual 10K doesn't actually exist yet.

The work of the designer ought to be worth much more than the money he would otherwise be paid for it, up front. Why? Because he or she is taking a risk on the service provided. Consider it an opportunity cost.

And back to the physical prototype, you'd have to really justify the need for it if you are going to dedicate that portion of the total available revenue to that particular partner, and away from everyone else.

Do you see what I'm saying?

Re: Willing to share invention rights?

Postby Persistent1 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:24 pm

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Ok, now the question is, can we put them in order and who can do some double duty?
1: Patent search?
2: Create prototype or CAD files or both?
3: File for patent?
4: Market to Retail chains or look for Manufacturer?
5: Negotiate License?
Who could perform double duty? Patent Lawyer doing search and creating patent? With contingency%.
Engineer or Industrial designer doing CAD, Solidworks, Catia etc... and helping pay for patent? With contingency %.
Marketing or angel investor?
The goal would be to limit the group involved in my opinion.
Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) tells me to find an engineer, have them sign a Non disclosure agreement, create drawings and / or a working prototype and file for patent, than look for a retail store who would carry it and discuss who their manufacturers are and maybe work to that end. They would already have supply chains and distribution setup. Or hire a marketing person outright to address the sales side. That way only 2 or 3 people own percentages of the license at most. Which I'm sure the Licensee will appreciate.
Your thoughts?

Re: Willing to share invention rights?

Postby Scrupulous » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:08 am

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I think the order that you proceed with would depend on the nature of the invention itself, among other things. For example, you can find an engineer who is willing to contribute design time, but you wouldn't want that work to begin until after you have the results of a prior art search, to be safe.

And don't forget that this approach would be backed only by people who really like your concept. So, if you have to take steps to make it more appealing before you can find people willing to invest their time, then that would be one of the earlier challenges.

Re: Willing to share invention rights?

Postby Scrupulous » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:16 am

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...And since not everyone will be interested, you probably want to optimize the way you reach potential partners.

Nowadays, the best way to do that is to utilize the power, convenience, and efficiency of the internet. You can reach tons of the right people with a simple e-mail. Include a link to a well-designed webpage, and now you are doing "at the touch of a button" what used to cost literally thousands of dollars in marketing resources.