Use data to find the right commercial partner.
If you’re a patent owner, you’re likely facing the task of finding a buyer or licensee for your patent. It’s a difficult job, but one that’s necessary to see your innovation brought to life — assuming you decided not to commercialize yourself.
You can hire a broker, however, the patent brokerage market is known to have wavering results, even after taking high upfront fees. You can work with an inventor help company, but for the most part, they’re just brokers, disguising themselves as a more ‘friendly’ company.
Ultimately… you’re on your own, so here are some tips for inventors that would like to take a smart approach to find the right fit.
Target the right kind of company.
This is a lot easier said than done. Most inventors will design a product specifically with a company in mind… but what happens if that company is Nike, Johnson & Johnson, or GM? They get product submissions all the time & it’s unlikely you get through the walls of departments & personnel that so many others with groundbreaking ideas have failed to breach.
The biggest players might not always be the best answer.
There are millions of companies out there, the majority of which are struggling to innovate. Business owners are looking for an innovative solution in their field every day, especially if they’re in a market with competitors like Nike & GM, that have massive internal r&d teams.
You will find more success with smaller organizations that don’t regularly get access to innovation.
The question is, how do you find these smaller companies?
Use public databases.
There are thousands of public databases that will allow you to identify companies working in your field. You just want to narrow in on the right ones that fit your market.
- Crunchbase — the leading destination for company insights from early-stage startups to the Fortune 1000. Use CrunchBase’s free search engine to get access to thousands of companies in your field. You can also segment the results by estimated rev. range, funding & more. Crunchbase can be perfect for technology-driven patents. There are millions of startups out there with a lot of money in funding that might be interested in developing a strong IP portfolio.
- LinkedIn — Linkedin can be used in a few ways. You can first narrow in on companies based on a description of your technology & market, then you can identify key personnel at the companies to reach out to. Almost every company in the US has a LinkedIn page, so it’s a great source to build a strong list of prospects. Once you have your list of target companies down, you can also use Linkedin to find key contacts to reach out to. You can read their recent postings & likes to get some insight on what they’re interested in & use it to strike up a conversation.
- USPTO — Most patent owners stop thinking about the USPTO from when they receive a patent until they have to pay maintenance fees. But it can be a great source for finding potential buyers or licensees. In many cases, companies like to build patent portfolios rather than owning one or two at a time. A strong patent portfolio can build great barriers to entry & increase the market cap of a company. If your technology works in complement to a company’s patent portfolio, they’ll likely be interested in acquiring it. You can use the USPTO’s free search engine to investigate companies that own portfolios that are similar to your innovation & then approach the company with the proposition that your patent can enhance their portfolio.
Cypris is a market intelligence tool for inventors. Our platform accumulates data from many different sources & organizes it in one location to help inventors visualize their markets. We’re democratizing the data that can help inventors make smarter patent investments, identify targeted commercial partners & opportunities, to see more innovations brought to life.
Learn more at ipcypris.com