Invention submission is one method that inventors can use to get their ideas evaluated for license by corporations. Many companies allow you to submit invention ideas if they fit in with their product line.
If you decide to make an invention submission to a company there are several things you should be aware of.
If you are to be successful with your invention submission try to make it as easy as possible for the companies you are submitting to. They likely get a lot of submissions and the more work you can do for them the better your odds of success. They will want to know 4 things (at least):
If you can answer the 4 questions above you will be far ahead of most of the inventors that submit ideas to companies. This also gives the company a strong basis and enough information to evaluate your concept. Try to do as much work for them as possible as it will give you a much better chance at success.
After a typical submission is made it will take several weeks for the company to get back in touch with you. When they do, they may ask for more information such as additional marketing materials or the ability to evaluate a prototype.
As a personal example, I submitted a patented product to a company via their online submission process. After 3 weeks I received a postcard saying they would be evaluating the idea over the next month. At the end of the month they asked for a sample of the prototype product for further evaluation. I thought this was a great sign and that I was moving closer to a licensing deal.
Another 4 weeks went by and I received a letter thanking me for my submission but unfortunately the product was not a good fit for the companies future direction. Oh and by the way we don't send back prototypes. That was an expensive lesson. If you do send out a prototype find out what their return policy is.
Not only did I not have a licensing deal. I was also out a $400 prototype.
Other times the online submission process has led to an immediate phone call followed by a face to face meeting and an eventual licensing deal. The process can work but as with everything in business and inventing be careful who you trust.
If you make it through the invention submission process there two likely outcomes. The first is a licensing deal and the second is the outright sale of your invention. These options each have pros and cons but either one is better than a no and a lost prototype.
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