Entrepreneur Podcast Network
Board Certified Specialist in Patent Law | Adjunct Professor of Patent Law
I recently shared some of my thoughts on procuring a bulletproof patent with Eric Dye on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, reminding listeners that some of the biggest licensing deals and royalty payments in history are attached to TINY ideas with GIANT footprints. Listen to the full podcast further below.
These include the Coffee Sleeve® which generates around $10 million annually for its owner, Jay Sorenson, who at the time was a down-and-out-relator with no intention of launching a world-changing idea.
Others like the Post-It Note®, developed by Spencer Silver while at 3M, would go on to generate over 1 billion in yearly licensing fees, showing the ingenuity and demand for simple ideas that solve frustrating problems.
I reminded all budding inventors listening to the show to please keep their idea a SECRET for as long as possible to ensure a successful patent filing. Doing keyword searches on Google opens up opportunities for tech savvy rivals to learn about your idea and file it first with the United States Patent Office (USPTO).
Instead, stick to broad searches on the USPTO site to determine if your idea is unique and relevant. Once you have established this fact THEN call a patent attorney to conduct a full-scale search and evaluation to craft a bulletproof patent.
Once the idea is protected with a patent, the inventor then has the option to launch his invention directly to consumers using the myriad of Internet-enabling tools available including Kickstarter, Social Media and emerging incubators. Or, pursue a licensing agreement with a larger existing company which essentially allows you to rent your idea and earn annual royalties.
Many of you visiting my site may never have intended to become inventors. You may have gone decades before you noticed a small, perplexing problem for which there was no solution on store shelves or on Amazon.
Perhaps you solved this issue using your own personal ingenuity, guile and cunning, never realizing this simple solution could literally be worth millions of dollars.
Well, congratulations: By channeling your Inner-MacGyver you may have stumbled upon an idea that can both be protected by a patent and hold the potential to change your life financially.
Remember the days when you saw tennis balls unceremoniously appended to walkers to mitigate sliding; or those make-shift inventions to stop your cell phone sliding across the dashboard? Think of all the shiny, updated versions now available as commercial products and earning the inventors’ hefty annual revenues.
These themes and insights are all covered during the interview and would love to hear your feedback on Facebook and my other social channels. I look forward to touching base with all inventors and entrepreneurs looking to take their first step in patent protection and earning income from their ideas.