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Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

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Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Sat 29 Dec 2012 - 16:35

I have 3 inventions that I already have non provisional patent applications filed for and I have prototypes for made for them too. All 3 of them have multiple applications. One is a winter apparell that can be used for winter sports and for work too. The second can be used for golfing, beach, pool, gym, and etc. The other can be used for cleaning. I need help and advice getting them licensed for royalties. These are my options let me know what you think:
1) I am thinking about paying the Inventors Assistance League about $900.00 per invention to create and mail out these flyers to companies in the hope that one of them will be interested in licensing my invention. At least IAL doesn't ask for a percentage of the royalties if my invention should get licensed. They just ask for the $900.00 flat fee. Does anyone know if the are reliable and legitimate? Has anyone had experience with them?
2) Inventor Agents they charge a fee and they want a percentage of your royalties, plus on top of that charge me a hefty fee to "evaluate" my invention. I don't know which one to trust and are reliable.
3) Go on the Shark Tank or Inventors USA and hope for the best.
4) Go on crowd sourcing site like Quirky, Edison Nation, or Genius Crowd, which for obvious reasons I prefer not to do.
5) Manufacture and distribute the invention myself, which I don't have the resources for, but I am willing to see if I can take out a loan with the SBA to get it done.
I want the best option where I will come out a winner. If anyone can help me in anyway, shape or for please let me know. The only reason that I came on this site was because the USPTO website pointed me in this direction, so I know that this is a good site to get help and answers from.

Thanks,
Eddie

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Mark Reyland on Thu 3 Jan 2013 - 7:24

Hi Eddie,

First off put your checkbook away...you have a lot to learn before you can tell where to spend money on your idea. Paying people to make flyers and send them out is a massive waste of your time and money at this point in the game.

At this point you should be reading everything you can get your hands on. In fact, all the best stuff is free, and you can find almost all the information you need either on the UIA web site (log in, and you will land in the resource room) or on the UIA Daily Inventor Blog. http://inventoropinion.blogspot.com/

Search for things like "Market Audit" and "Prototypes" and "workarounds" or "the benefit detriment scale" and "sell sheets" or "the math" ....read everything you can and you will understand why, and if, you need companies like that.

But frankly, a little elbow grease and some time, and you can do everything those companies do anyway.

Good Luck
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Thu 3 Jan 2013 - 11:09

Mark,

Since I filed provisional patent applications filed for these inventions I have to try and license them ASAP, so as you can imagine I am on a deadline here.
Have you heard of anything negative about the Inventors Assistance League? Because I think I am going to go with them.

Thanks,
Eddie

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Mark Reyland on Thu 3 Jan 2013 - 11:53

I have not heard anything bad or good about them - I would not call them a real player in the industry.... Please check with your lawyer about your PPA before you start spending money with these kinds of companies.
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Thu 3 Jan 2013 - 11:57

Mark,

I don't have money for a lawyer. That is why I need to license my inventions ASAP to ask for an advance, so I can patent my inventions.

Eddie

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Post  Roger Brown on Thu 3 Jan 2013 - 21:38

Eddie, from what I read above you said you have filed provisional patent applications on all three. How much of your one year do you have left? You should be using that time contacting companies you want to license the products. I tell most Inventors to do their research upfront before filing for a PPA so they know what they plan on doing once the clock starts running. That way you can use the full 12 months looking for a company to license it. Most Inventors lose the first six months trying to figure out what they plan on doing. They don't realize that some companies do not move very quickly and it can take months for a company to review and make a decision on whether they want to move forward with your product or pass on it.

Paying any company to send out flyers for you is a shot in the dark at best. If they are not sending them to specific people within the company who can actually review and make decisions it is a waste of time and money. If they just send it in care of the company it goes into the general mail and you are relying on someone in the company that opens the letter taking the responsibility of making sure it gets to the right person within the company. How well do you think that will work?

Then you have companies that have specific polices for submitting outside products to them and do not look at unsolicited submissions, which your flyer would fall into that category. You can do the same thing you are paying them to do yourself and target the proper person within the company. It will take you some of your time, but you will know for a fact who was contacted and will also be in a position to follow up on those contacts. Did you ask who within a company would receive the flyer and how many companies do you get for $900? Is it 100, 50, 10, 1. If they don't have anything in writing stating what you get other than they send out flyers they can send out one and have met their requirement.

Below are some articles I wrote that you may find helpful to do a lot of this yourself. Inventing is a business if you plan on making any money at it, you need to treat it like one.

How to Land A Royal(ty) Flush http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/7241

How to Submit Ideas to Companies Think Before You Send
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/6674

Twelve Step Program Sealing a Licensing Deal for Under $100
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/5042

Licensing Vs Manufacturing
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/2927





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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Fri 4 Jan 2013 - 2:32

Roger,

On one of them Filed in September 2012 and got approved shortly after. On the other two I just got approved in December 2012. I am seriously thinking about manufacturing one of these invention because I feel that it has alot of promise. I am working with the SBDC to start a business maybe I will focus it on manufacturing and distributing this invention. I would have to have it manufactured overeas because it is just to expensive to manufacture it over her. I know this because my partner on the other two inventions was looking into having it manufactured here and it was just too damn expensive. He looked into having it manufactured in China and it was still expensive, but not as expensive as here. We think that this business associate the he had go to China to look for a manufacturing company for us was overcharging us to manufacture each product, so he could skim some money from the top. As soon as my partner told him that the price was too expensive and we would consider it all of a sudden he said the price was negotiable. Let me know what you think.

Eddie


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Post  Roger Brown on Fri 4 Jan 2013 - 6:53

Eddie, was the person getting the quotes for you getting paid by you or were they getting a commission or doing it for free? You will find that some of these agents will get paid by you for getting them the quote and paid by the manufacturer for finding them a client. Double dipping. As with any business transaction you need to be prepared to negotiate on price and you need to ask for all quotes to be written with a breakdown of costs.

Have you tried places like http://www.alibaba.com/ to get quotes yourself? Have you talked with any Inventor group in your area to see if any of them have gotten quotes from overseas and who they used and were they happy with the results? These again are things you can do yourself.
Find an Inventor group near you here. http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/6025
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Mon 7 Jan 2013 - 11:09

Roger Brown wrote:Eddie, was the person getting the quotes for you getting paid by you or were they getting a commission or doing it for free? You will find that some of these agents will get paid by you for getting them the quote and paid by the manufacturer for finding them a client. Double dipping. As with any business transaction you need to be prepared to negotiate on price and you need to ask for all quotes to be written with a breakdown of costs.

Have you tried places like http://www.alibaba.com/ to get quotes yourself? Have you talked with any Inventor group in your area to see if any of them have gotten quotes from overseas and who they used and were they happy with the results? These again are things you can do yourself.
Find an Inventor group near you here. http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/6025

Roger,

He was doing it for free. He was going there anyway, so my partner asked him to find a manufacture it for us. My invention seem to have taken a life of its own and I have created alot of adapters and clips around it that I know has other applications some I can identify, but others I can't identify or foresee right now. I need to hire someone to help me identify these other applications and to help me identify all markets that my invention can be sold in before I file another PPA for it again. I don't want a licensing firm as I am currently not interested in licensing my invention for royalty, but manufacturing it myself. Any recommendations? I live in the NYC/NJ area. Any help or advice would be seriously appreciated.

Thanks,
Eddie

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Good Luck Eddie

Post  jstar on Mon 7 Jan 2013 - 20:06

Dear Eddie,
Hope everything goes well for you. I don't have too much experience but what i do know is that research is a HUGE help. The internet gives you many ways to find what you are looking for. Safe trial, less error. I am from NYC are myself. I was wondering what firm did you use to obtain your patents and are you happy with them? I just finished getting my patent result. Should i be discouraged that they found 9 similar patents? I would appreciate the help. Good luck bud.

Sincerely,
Jstar

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 1:22

jstar wrote:Dear Eddie,
Hope everything goes well for you. I don't have too much experience but what i do know is that research is a HUGE help. The internet gives you many ways to find what you are looking for. Safe trial, less error. I am from NYC are myself. I was wondering what firm did you use to obtain your patents and are you happy with them? I just finished getting my patent result. Should i be discouraged that they found 9 similar patents? I would appreciate the help. Good luck bud.

Sincerely,
Jstar

I don't have patents yet. I filed a provisional patent applications for all of my inventions, which is like a patent hold. I would not walk away from your invention yet because when I came up with my invention their was something very similar in the market and I took a step back from it and took a closer look at it to see how I can vastly improve on this invention and I came up with a product that is vastly superior to the original product and has alot off applications that the original invention doesn't have. As a consequence to this invention I created alot of accessories for it that has alot of different applications to them, so don't throw in the towel yet take a step back and figure out how you can make it better than the 9 other similar products that are out there.If you can't think of anything than I would walk away from it and move on. BTW I did my own patent search on the uspto and google patents website. Also I looked in stores and online shops to see if there is anything like my invention and so far I have not come across anything that is even close. I would leave an actual, official patent search by a lawyer for when you are going to file for an actual patent. Good luck!

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Manufacturing

Post  Roger Brown on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 6:45

Eddie, it sounds like you are doing your research and have a plan on how to move forward. As with any venture you need to try and find out as much as possible about the hazards, requirements, fees, legal documents and other items you may need to move forward.
You said you have decided to manufacture vs License. Take a look at this article I wrote. It may give you some idea of what you will face.

Licensing Vs Manufacturing
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/2927
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Thanks Eddie

Post  jstar on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 9:55

Eddie,
Thanks a lot for the advice. I think I am going to move forward with my idea. I think it is better with more options in different markets. So should I file a PPA myself or use the lawyer that did my patent search? I think I am looking to license my invention so do I need a "actual size" prototype just incase a company wants to see it? Again..... just getting my feet wet. lol.

Sincerely,
Jstar

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 13:50

jstar wrote:Eddie,
Thanks a lot for the advice. I think I am going to move forward with my idea. I think it is better with more options in different markets. So should I file a PPA myself or use the lawyer that did my patent search? I think I am looking to license my invention so do I need a "actual size" prototype just incase a company wants to see it? Again..... just getting my feet wet. lol.

Sincerely,
Jstar

I was able to do the PPA on my own. The USPTO has an inventor hotline that will help you through the process. Also do research on how to properly write a PPA. What I will tell you is that when you write about your invention don't lock it down where you won't have any wiggle room to move around when you do your final patent. For instance do not mention specification like size, color, and etc. Instead say that it can be any size, color, and etc. The same goes for material lets say that you are going to make a new towel, instead of being specific about the type fabric you are going to use like terry cloth just say that it can be made with any absorpative fabric. I will say this if your invention is a simple, straight forward invention with not that many parts or pieces like adapter and accessories than write your own ppa. If it is a complicated one with a lot of adapters and accessories that can have other applications than get an attorney to write it for you. I am having this very issue right now and I am seriously considering hiring legal zoom to write my updated ppa for me.

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 13:54

Roger Brown wrote:Eddie, it sounds like you are doing your research and have a plan on how to move forward. As with any venture you need to try and find out as much as possible about the hazards, requirements, fees, legal documents and other items you may need to move forward.
You said you have decided to manufacture vs License. Take a look at this article I wrote. It may give you some idea of what you will face.

Licensing Vs Manufacturing
http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/2927

Roger,

Have you heard of The Innovation Institute or World Innovation Network? If so are they are reputable and reliable company? http://www.wini2.com/ I am thinking of hiring them to evaluate one of my inventions.

Thanks,
Eddie

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Thanks Eddie

Post  jstar on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 18:13

Dear Eddie,
Thanks for the advice. I have made a decision to go ahead with my project. Had a patent attorney do a patent search and came back with 9 results. 8 not really similar to mine but one close. We found out that the one that was close was abandoned last year. My attorney said that I still have novelty in my invention. It is not obvious. So I am currently getting a PPA using professional help. I will let you know how everything turns out. I would say get an attorney Eddie. But I'm no expert. Let me know what happens.

Jstar

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 23:48

jstar wrote:Dear Eddie,
Thanks for the advice. I have made a decision to go ahead with my project. Had a patent attorney do a patent search and came back with 9 results. 8 not really similar to mine but one close. We found out that the one that was close was abandoned last year. My attorney said that I still have novelty in my invention. It is not obvious. So I am currently getting a PPA using professional help. I will let you know how everything turns out. I would say get an attorney Eddie. But I'm no expert. Let me know what happens.

Jstar

If I may ask who are you using to do your patent search and how much did they charge you? Also how much are they charging you to do your ppa? I was thinking of using legal zoom.

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  jstar on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 9:15

Eddie777 wrote:
jstar wrote:Dear Eddie,
Thanks for the advice. I have made a decision to go ahead with my project. Had a patent attorney do a patent search and came back with 9 results. 8 not really similar to mine but one close. We found out that the one that was close was abandoned last year. My attorney said that I still have novelty in my invention. It is not obvious. So I am currently getting a PPA using professional help. I will let you know how everything turns out. I would say get an attorney Eddie. But I'm no expert. Let me know what happens.

Jstar

If I may ask who are you using to do your patent search and how much did they charge you? Also how much are they charging you to do your ppa? I was thinking of using legal zoom.



Dear Eddie,
I am willing to help you in any way I can. I hope my post doesn't get erased. I am using Goldstein Patent Firm in NYC but they have offices in Staten Island and New Jersey. I am going to say that they are a little expensive. I paid $1500 for the search. It took about two weeks to get the results. The PPA is going to run me $6400 and if I decide to go ahead and apply for the utility,it would be another $6400. The reason why I used this firm is because I heard good things about them on the testimonials. I decided to send one of the inventors that used this firm an e-mail asking him for his "real" opinion on their services. There was an incident where the FDNY was using a device similar to this gentlemen's invention. To make a long story short, the patent was well writing and because of that, the city couldn't find a way around it. He won the lawsuit. Others wrote back with good things to say also. I also like it that they are in the city and I'm from Long Island. I hope any information I can give you helps you move forward. BUT AGAIN I am no expert. Please remember that. Good luck and god bless.

Jstar

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Post  Roger Brown on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 9:29

Jstar, You say that a PPA is going to run $6,400. A PPA typically runs around $125 to $150 to file yourself. So why are you paying $6,000 more? And they want $6,400 more to file a utility? You need to do more research before you start spending that kind of cash. Contact your local Inventor group and see who they use and what prices they are paying. Some groups have patent lawyers within the group that might give you a better deal.

You say you are in New Jersey. Try these:


New Jersey

National Society of Inventors
Stephen Shaw
8 Eiker Road
Cranbury, NJ 08512
Phone: (609) 799-4574
Monthly meetings Held in Roselle Park, NJ
nationalinventors.com
nsinventors.com

Jersey Shore Inventors Group
Bill Hincher, President
24 E 3rd Street
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 407-8885
ideasbiz@aol.com

New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum
32 Cedar Brook Drive
Westfield, NJ 07090
732.873.1955
entreuniv@gmail.com
http://www.njef.org

You can find other states here http://www.inventorsdigest.com/archives/6025
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  jstar on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 11:45

Dear Roger,
I am in Long Island, New York. I have asked around and $4,000 to $6,000 is the range almost all firms told me. I know you can file a PPA yourself but I have also heard that a professional service such as an patent attorney is a big help. I have been trying to find a inventors group in my area but most of them are outdated. I feel like if I don't make a move soon, I will loose this opportunity to someone else. Roger, can you give me a price range of what I should be paying a patent attorney for these services? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Jstar

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Post  Roger Brown on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 12:03

Jstar did you look at the link for the list of Inventor Groups in your state? I would suggest contacting them before you spend any money. Don't let your emotion to get it to market override your common sense. That is a pitfall numerous Inventors fall into and get severely in debt when they didn't have too. If all the firms in New York are that high check outside your state for a better deal.



The Inventors Association of Manhattan (IAM)
Ananda Singh-- Membership Manager
Location TBD ever 2nd Monday of the month
New York, NY
manhattan-inventors.org
Email: manhattan.inventors@gmail.com

Inventors Society of Western New York
Alan Reinnagel
174 High Stone Circle
Pitsford, NY 14534
585-943-7320
inventny.org

Inventors & Entrepreneurs of Suffolk County, Inc.
Brian Fried
PO Box 672
Melville, NY 11747
(631) 415-5013
iesuffolk.com

Long Island Forum for Technology, Inc.
111 West main Street
Bay Shore, NY 11706
(631) 969-3700
LCarter@lift.org

NY Society of Professional Inventors
Daniel Weiss
(516) 798-1490 (9AM - 8PM)
dan.weiss.PE@juno.com
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  jstar on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 14:02

Dear Roger,
I did try the inventors groups around my area but almost all are outdated or the website is down. The one that was available was almost 2 hours away from me. Near Canada. Do you think I should wait and shop around for an attorney? I have a list of potential companies that might want to look at my product. I do have a prototype, specific drawings of the functions and different models. Am i going about this the wrong way? I hope not.

Jstar

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Post  Roger Brown on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 14:51

Everyone has to decide what works best for them and their situation. For me using a NDA and sell sheet, no PPA, No patent works best for me. Others like to wait until hey have the patent before approaching the companies, others do a mixture. There is no one way fits everyone.
The only thing that I would say fits all those situations is that every Inventor should do a much work and research up front before spending any money. There is so much you can do for free to see whether or not you should pursue the product and if it has a market. Inventors need to learn not to get an idea and then start throwing money at it before they even know if anything like theirs exists, if theirs is better than what is available, who do they want to go after once they have all their ducks in a row, etc.
Look through the list I posted of Inventor groups and contact one and see if you can talk with them about what you are looking for. You don't have to be thee in person to get information. Try Skype, look at all the free webinars that are available. You can find help if you look hard enough and don't give up.
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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  Eddie777 on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 19:01

jstar wrote:
Eddie777 wrote:
jstar wrote:Dear Eddie,
Thanks for the advice. I have made a decision to go ahead with my project. Had a patent attorney do a patent search and came back with 9 results. 8 not really similar to mine but one close. We found out that the one that was close was abandoned last year. My attorney said that I still have novelty in my invention. It is not obvious. So I am currently getting a PPA using professional help. I will let you know how everything turns out. I would say get an attorney Eddie. But I'm no expert. Let me know what happens.

Jstar

If I may ask who are you using to do your patent search and how much did they charge you? Also how much are they charging you to do your ppa? I was thinking of using legal zoom.

Jstar,

Don't pay that lawyer another cent he is ripping you off. You are better off going to legalzoom.com. They will do you ppa and utility patent for much cheaper. Better yet you can do the ppa yourself and have legal zoom do the actual patent.




Dear Eddie,
I am willing to help you in any way I can. I hope my post doesn't get erased. I am using Goldstein Patent Firm in NYC but they have offices in Staten Island and New Jersey. I am going to say that they are a little expensive. I paid $1500 for the search. It took about two weeks to get the results. The PPA is going to run me $6400 and if I decide to go ahead and apply for the utility,it would be another $6400. The reason why I used this firm is because I heard good things about them on the testimonials. I decided to send one of the inventors that used this firm an e-mail asking him for his "real" opinion on their services. There was an incident where the FDNY was using a device similar to this gentlemen's invention. To make a long story short, the patent was well writing and because of that, the city couldn't find a way around it. He won the lawsuit. Others wrote back with good things to say also. I also like it that they are in the city and I'm from Long Island. I hope any information I can give you helps you move forward. BUT AGAIN I am no expert. Please remember that. Good luck and god bless.

Jstar

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Re: Need Help Taking Inventions To Market

Post  jstar on Wed 9 Jan 2013 - 20:20

Dear Eddie and Roger,
I know that some things you can do yourself like the ppa and the search. I went with an attorney because the research I have done pointed me in that direction. From my understanding if a provisional patent application or patent itself is written poorly, others can find a way around it and kind of steal your invention. That is the story I hear a lot. Before I contacted this firm I got in contact with past clients. All wrote back with really good things to say. Thanks for all the advice. I am definitely going to do some more homework. Wish me luck.

Jstar



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