Submit an idea to GM

November 22, 2011 in Licensing

The General Motor’s New Devices Section provides our
customers and friends who are not General Motors employees with an opportunity
to submit ideas, inventions and suggestions. In order to be considered, these
submissions must be currently patented, or meet the conditions and legal
requirements to be patentable.For more information regarding the patentability of inventions, we have
provided this link to the United States Patent and Trademark Office at
Additionally , the inventions submitted through our New Devices Section must
relate to new or improved:

  • Products or Product-related Technologies
  • Manufacturing methods, or
  • Machines

The following will NOT be considered by the
General Motors’ New Devices Section:

  • Inventions which cannot be patented
  • CONFIDENTIAL Information of any type
  • Styling of products
  • Selling or Advertising schemes
  • Product names, slogans, or logos
  • Ways of conducting some part of the business
Please note that receipt
of your submission creates no obligation on the part of GM in any way and GM
does not consider it confidential. Your submission is being delivered
voluntarily and without restriction and we conclude that GM is free to use the
information provided.
GM does not accept any legal obligation (whether of confidentiality,
compensation, return or otherwise) with respect to any ideas, proposals,
concepts, suggestions or materials submitted to us unless we agree to such
obligations in a signed document. We also specifically reserve the right to
implement similar ideas in the future without restriction or obligation.All GM employees are governed by the Terms of Employment. Employees should
only enter information which they are permitted to enter in accordance with
those terms. There is no compensation for ideas submitted by GM employees. GM
employees who are qualified to make submissions under the Quality Network
Suggestion Plan (QNSP) and who wish to have their ideas considered by the QNSP
must make a separate submission under the QNSP.

I understand and agree to be bound to the following terms and conditions when
I submit my idea to GM

  1. I am at least 18 years old.
  2. I agree that all information provided is given entirely voluntarily.
  3. To the best of my knowledge, all of the ideas I am submitting are not the
    property of others and all other information furnished to GM are true and
  4. I am not violating any agreement or understanding I have with another party,
    including my current or former employer.
  5. No implied contractual relationship arises from my submission.
  6. I am aware that under the law of the United States and most foreign
    countries, I may be able to protect my idea through application for patents,
    trademarks, copyrights or maintain my idea as a “trade secret” by protecting it
    from non-confidential disclosure.
  7. I am giving up all copyright and other intellectual property right claims
    (other than patent and trademark claims) I may have against GM for copying,
    disclosing, evaluating or otherwise using my idea.
  8. Any materials I submit will not be returned to me and will be retained by
  9. GM is under no obligation to use my idea or to hold it in confidence.
  10. I will not be compensated for any ideas submitted to GM or for any ideas
    developed by GM independent of my idea submission. This Paragraph 10 does not
    waive claims under any valid and enforceable patent.
Please be thorough but concise when filling out the following New
Devices submission form – this will help us to evaluate your submission

Cambridge Innovation Center

November 8, 2011 in Entrepreneur

Neighboring the MIT campus and steps away from the Red Line in the heart of Kendall Square, Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is the largest flexible office facility for growing technology and life sciences companies in the Greater Boston area. The Cambridge Innovation Center offers start-up and emerging companies award-winning facilities and state-of-the-art business and technical services in a package which is designed to meet the needs of small and growing businesses. CIC is cost efficient and scales with the company’s growth. Currently, over 250 companies are located at CIC.

  • Convenient Location
  • Award-Winning Space
  • No Long Term Commitments


At CIC, your company could save thousands of dollars per month and still be located in the best place in Boston. CIC clients have acesss to all of the services needed in a modern office: well-appointed conference rooms with LCD projectors, touch-screen conference room reservations, video conferencing, redundant high-speed Internet connections, digital phones with company auto-attendant and voicemail, unmetered domestic long distance phone calls, gracious kitchen with filtered water, brewed-by-the-cup coffee, snacks, unmetered copying, faxing, etc. CIC is not a ‘temporary office center’: there is no metering of the use of any of our services. We are simply a great place to locate your business and many of our clients choose to continue with our services for years and across multiple companies.

How We Price

CIC’s all-inclusive price varies based on the type and size of space your business requires. A good rule of thumb is that the price range is between $500 and $1000 per month per person, including the above-mentioned services, when space is used efficiently. By way of specific examples, it is $500/person/mo for a desk in a shared workspace, and $3,000+/mo for a high-floor office with a fabulous view that can accommodate up to three people. Most CIC clients have space for 1-15 people, though there are options to grow to a much larger size.

Okay, So What’s Not Included?

The only commonly used services that are NOT included in the flat rate are parking, international calls, and rackspace for colocation of your servers in our server room. Parking is available in the building and costs $225/month. We bill your international calls at Verizon’s discounted “talk to the world” rate. Or you can just use Skype and talk for free.

Most analyses of the fully loaded occupancy costs of operating a small company in traditionally leased office space show that CIC is less expensive than direct leasing for growing companies with ~20 employees or less. Call our Sales Team at 617-758-4200 and we wil be happy to take you through the CIC options in detail.

Finally, consider these other key benefits of CIC’s model:

  • At CIC you pay for only what you use. If you are a 5-person company expecting to grow to 20, you start out paying just for 5 people. This can translate to a 400% savings on direct space costs.
  • CIC does not lock you in (we use month-to-month agreements), so you can swing your infrastructure costs up and down with the fortunes of your business. This can be more valuable to a small company than anything else we do.

SBA: Local Counseling & Training

November 3, 2011 in Entrepreneur

Local Counseling & Training

When you have decided that your business idea is practical, you have some important decisions to make. Follow the links and information below for additional information.

  • Looking for small business counseling and training close to home? SBA can help! SBA provides small business counseling and training through District Offices across the country. Business guidance and support is crucial to…
  • Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small…
  • The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association comprised of 11,500 volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. SCORE members are trained to…
  • Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. WBCs operate with the mission to “level the playing field” for…
  • The Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a…
  • Is your small business ready to go global? It may be an easier step than you think. Advances in technology can make worldwide commerce achievable for many small businesses, depending on the goods or services you offer. If you’…
  • Doing business with the government is a big step to growing your business. Here at SBA, we want you to have the resources you need. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training…

SBA Training: Financing a Business

November 3, 2011 in Financing

Financing a Business 

Financing is an integral part to getting your business off the ground and growing it over time. That’s why SBA has provided several free online courses to help you become familiar with your financing options, including an introduction to accounting, a guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs, and an overview on how to prepare a loan package.

  • Podcasts

    SBA business financing podcasts offer expert insight and guidance about your business money matters. Financing podcasts offer advice on topics ranging from traditional loans to grants, bonds and investor-based venture capital.

  • Knowledge about the finances of your business is essential to its success. About These Courses Several free online courses are offered by the SBA to help prospective and existing entrepreneurs understand basic finance and…
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Postal Service bring you Delivering Success—video interviews with successful entrepreneurs who share the lessons they’ve learned about owning a small business. The…
  • Following a disaster, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with FEMA to help disaster survivors. The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. 

SBA: Managing a Business

November 3, 2011 in Entrepreneur

Managing a Business 

After you have successfully launched your small business, you have the ongoing challenge of managing it – of nurturing it and growing its profitability, while at the same time adhering to laws and regulations that govern your industry. As its leader, you must make decisions that affect your business every day, some critical and some not so important. This section provides a variety of resources that will help you run your business smoothly or exit your venture, if you choose to take a different direction.

Leading Your Company

Do you have what it takes to lead your company to success? Effective leaders share some pretty important personal characteristics. The topics in this section will help you determine if your personality type is likely to be a good fit for a …

Growing Your Business

There’s more to growing a business than just watching customers come in your door. You must always plan ahead, and ensure that you’re poised for the new challenges that a growing business will face in a changing world.

Exporting & Importing

Take Your Business Global: Where will your next customer come from? Small businesses looking to increase sales and profit are taking their businesses global. Nearly 96 percent of consumers and over two-thirds of the …

Running a Business

Will your small business run like clockwork every day? Probably not! You need to be prepared for all sorts of situations, even disasters that can’t be prevented. This section contains information you’ll need to run your business …

Business Law & Regulations

Do you have to be an attorney to open and run a small business these days? The answer is no (although you shouldn’t hesitate to consult one if you have a sticky legal question). This section helps you with the day-to-day legal issues …

Getting Out

You may wish to leave your business for a variety of reasons. For example, you may be ready to retire – if so, congratulations! – and you may wish to hand your business to a relative. Or perhaps your business did not live up to …

Business Guides by Industry

Each guide in this section details information specific to an industry. You’re likely to find one that provides invaluable information targeted to your line of business.

Local Resources

Looking for small business counseling and training close to home? SBA can help! SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners across the country. Check out the resources below to …


The process of starting and managing a business requires a lot of analysis and paperwork. SBA has just about every resource you’ll need, from business plan examples and financial forms, to tools that can help you determine the best …


SBA: Starting a Business

November 3, 2011 in Entrepreneur

Starting a Business 

Are you thinking about starting a business of your own? Congratulations! It’s a huge step, and you’ll need to be prepared. That’s where SBA comes in: In this section, we have brought together the resources you need to get started. Whether you’re sitting down to write your business plan, wondering about your legal obligations, or researching your financing options, you’ll find the information you need right here.

Thinking About Starting

If you’re thinking about starting a small business, you should start by weighing the pros and cons, so that you can make a wise decision. The resources in this section are essentially a toolkit to guide your decision-making process.

Finding a Mentor or Counselor

When you’re in the initial phases of getting your small business off the ground, you could probably use some guidance and advice from a mentor or counselor. Experts are available to assist you through local offices and for specific …

Writing a Business Plan

Now that you’ve decided that you’d like to open a small business, you should put your thoughts down on paper. This way, your business idea is expressed in a plan – a living document that outlines every critical aspect of …

Establishing a Business

Once you decide that your small business idea is viable, you have several more key decisions to make. SBA is your partner, equipping you with the information you need. Be sure to review the information in this section carefully, because …

Preparing Your Finances

Before you head to your bank or credit union to apply for a loan, be sure that you understand your situation and your options. What are your startup costs? At what level of revenue will your business break even? And how does SBA assist new …

Loans, Grants & Funding

You have a variety of options when it comes to financing your small business. In addition to traditional loans, you may wish to explore other opportunities that range from grants and bonds to investor-based venture capital.

Business Law & Regulations

As a small business owner, you are subject to the same regulations as large corporations. Even if you’re starting out on a small level and planning to grow, you must comply with business laws and regulations from the day you open for …

Marketing a New Business

Let’s say you have a great product, and you’re ready to fill orders. You might be missing a crucial business aspect: marketing – or telling people why they need your great product in the first place. This …

Local Resources

Looking for small business counseling and training close to home? SBA can help! SBA provides small business counseling and training through a variety of programs and resource partners across the country. Check out the resources below to …


The process of starting and managing a business requires a lot of analysis and paperwork. SBA has just about every resource you’ll need, from business plan examples and financial forms, to tools that can help you determine the best …


How to Apply for an SBA Loan

November 3, 2011 in Financing

How to Apply for an SBA Loan

While the standards for SBA-qualifying loans are more flexible than those for other types of loans, lenders still require extensive documentation to evaluate your loan request. You should strive to make the best possible presentation in your initial loan submission, since you may not get a second opportunity.

Applying for an SBA Loan

There are many different formats you can use for a loan proposal. You may want to contact the lender you are approaching to determine which format is best for you. When writing your proposal, don’t assume the lender is familiar with your industry or your individual business. Always include industry-specific details so the lender can understand how your particular business is run and what industry trends affect it.

Loan Documents

While you need to check the specific requirements of your lender, a loan application usually includes these elements:

Executive Summary

Begin your proposal with a simple and direct cover letter or executive summary. Clearly and briefly explain who you are, your business background, the nature of your business, the amount and purpose of your loan request, your requested terms of repayment, how the funds will benefit your business, and how you will repay the loan.

Business Profile

Provide a written description of the history of your business, including:

  • Type of business
  • Location
  • Product or service
  • Brief history (including length of time in business and ownership)
  • Annual sales
  • Number of employees
  • Proposed future operation
  • Competition
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Date of information

Management Experience

Include resumes of each owner and key member of management.

Loan Request: SBA Form 4

This description of how the loan funds will be used should include purpose, amount and type of loan.

Loan Repayment

Provide a brief statement indicating how the loan will be repaid, including repayment sources and time requirements. Cash-flow schedules, budgets, and other appropriate information should support this statement.

Collateral: SBA Form 4-a

List real property and other assets to be held as collateral. Few financial institutions will provide non-collateral-based loans. All loans should have at least two identifiable sources of repayment. The first source is ordinarily cash flow generated from profitable operations of the business. The second source is usually collateral pledged to secure the loan.

Personal Financial Statement: SBA Form 413

SBA requires financial statements for all owners, partners, officers and stockholders owning 20 percent or more of the business. These statements (listing all personal assets, liabilities and monthly payments) should not be more than 90 days old. Federal income tax returns for the past three years must also be submitted.

Business Financial Statements

Provide complete financial statements for the last three years (including balance sheets, income statements, and a reconciliation of net worth) plus a current (no more than 90 days old) interim financial statement. Also include a schedule of term debt and aging of accounts payable and accounts receivable (broken into 30-, 60-, 90-, and past-90-day-old categories). If you are just starting out, provide a projected balance sheet and income statement. The strength and accuracy of your financial statements will be the primary basis for the lending decision, so be sure that yours are carefully prepared and up-to-date.

Proposed Business

Provide a pro-forma balance sheet reflecting sources and uses of both equity and borrowed funds.


Provide a projection of future operations for at least one year or until positive cash flow can be shown. Include earnings, expenses, and reasoning for these estimates. The projections should be in profit and loss format. Explain the assumptions you use if they are different from trend or industry standards and support your projected figures with clear, documentable explanations.

Other Items (as they apply)

  • Lease (copies of proposal)
  • Franchise agreement
  • Purchase agreement
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Plans / specifications
  • Copies of licenses
  • Letters of reference
  • Letters of intent
  • Contracts
  • Partnership agreement


Related Success Stories:


SBA Offers

November 3, 2011 in Financing

What SBA Offers to Help Small Businesses Grow

What does SBA offer to small business owners? The programs are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific. SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. Understanding how SBA works is the first step towards receiving assistance.

SBA’s Role

SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.

Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing)

SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans may not be made to a small business if the borrower has access to other financing on reasonable terms.

SBA loan guaranty requirements and practices can change as the Government alters its fiscal policy and priorities to meet current economic conditions. Therefore, you can’t rely on past policy when seeking assistance in today’s market.

Bonding Program (Surety Bonds)

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program helps small business contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.

A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor’s responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed.

Through the SBG Program, the SBA makes an agreement with a surety guaranteeing that SBA will assume a percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract. The SBA’s guarantee gives sureties an incentive to provide bonding for eligible contractors, thereby strengthening a contractor’s ability to obtain bonding and greater access to contracting opportunities for small businesses.

SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

Venture Capital Program (Equity Financing)

SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership through which the SBA provides venture capital to small businesses. SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA. With the private capital they raise and with funds borrowed at favorable rates through SBA, SBICs provide financing in the form of debt or equity to small businesses.

SBICs are similar to venture capital, private equity and private debt funds in terms of how they operate and their ultimate objective to generate high returns for their investors. However, unlike those funds, SBICs limit their investments to qualified small business concerns as defined by SBA regulations.




Finding Loans & Grants

November 3, 2011 in Financing

Federal, state and local governments offer a wide range of financing programs to help small businesses start and grow their operations. These programs include low-interest loans, venture capital, and scientific and economic development grants.

Use’s Loans and Grants Search Tool to get a list of financing programs for which you may qualify. Please note that many small businesses do not qualify for government grants. For more information, visit Facts About Government Grants. Additionally, check out the resources below to learn more about small business financing programs.


Venture Capital for Startups & High Growth Technology Companies

November 3, 2011 in Entrepreneur, Financing

About Venture Capital

Venture capital is a type of equity financing that addresses the funding needs of entrepreneurial companies that for reasons of size, assets, and stage of development cannot seek capital from more traditional sources, such as public markets and banks. Venture capital investments are generally made as cash in exchange for shares and an active role in the invested company.

Venture capital differs from traditional financing sources in that venture capital typically:

  • Focuses on young, high-growth companies;
  • Invests equity capital, rather than debt;
  • Takes higher risks in exchange for potential higher returns;
  • Has a longer investment horizon than traditional financing;
  • Actively monitors portfolio companies via board participation, strategic marketing, governance, and capital structure.

Successful long-term growth for most businesses is dependent upon the availability of equity capital. Lenders generally require some equity cushion or security (collateral) before they will lend to a small business. A lack of equity limits the debt financing available to businesses. Additionally, debt financing requires the ability to service the debt through current interest payments. These funds are then not available to grow the business.

Venture capital provides businesses a financial cushion. However, equity providers have the last call against the company’s assets. In view of this lower priority and the usual lack of a current pay requirement, equity providers require a higher rate of return/return on investment (ROI) than lenders receive.

Understanding Venture Capital

Venture capital for new and emerging businesses typically comes from high net worth individuals (“angel investors”) and venture capital firms. These investors usually provide capital unsecured by assets to young, private companies with the potential for rapid growth. This type of investing inherently carries a high degree of risk. But venture capital is long-term or “patient capital” that allows companies the time to mature into profitable organizations.

Venture capital is also an active rather than passive form of financing. These investors seek to add value, in addition to capital, to the companies in which they invest in an effort to help them grow and achieve a greater return on the investment. This requires active involvement; almost all venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors.

Although investors are committed to a company for the long haul, that does not mean indefinitely. The primary objective of equity investors is to achieve a superior rate of return through the eventual and timely disposal of investments. A good investor will be considering potential exit strategies from the time the investment is first presented and investigated.

Angel Investors

Business “angels” are high net worth individual investors who seek high returns through private investments in start-up companies. Private investors generally are a diverse and dispersed population who made their wealth through a variety of sources. But the typical business angels are often former entrepreneurs or executives who cashed out and retired early from ventures that they started and grew into successful businesses.

These self-made investors share many common characteristics:

  • They seek companies with high growth potentials, strong management teams, and solid business plans to aid the angels in assessing the company’s value. (Many seed or start ups may not have a fully developed management team, but have identified key positions.)
  • They typically invest in ventures involved in industries or technologies with which they are personally familiar.
  • They often co-invest with trusted friends and business associates. In these situations, there is usually one influential lead investor (“archangel”) those judgment is trusted by the rest of the group of angels.
  • Because of their business experience, many angels invest more than their money. They also seek active involvement in the business, such as consulting and mentoring the entrepreneur. They often take bigger risks or accept lower rewards when they are attracted to the non-financial characteristics of an entrepreneur’s proposal.

Understanding Equity Capital

Equity capital or financing is money raised by a business in exchange for a share of ownership in the company. Ownership is represented by owning shares of stock outright or having the right to convert other financial instruments into stock of that private company. Two key sources of equity capital for new and emerging businesses are angel investors and venture capital firms.

Typically, angel capital and venture capital investors provide capital unsecured by assets to young, private companies with the potential for rapid growth. Such investing covers most industries and is appropriate for businesses through the range of developmental stages. Investing in new or very early companies inherently carries a high degree of risk. But venture capital is long term or “patient capital” that allows companies the time to mature into profitable organizations.

Angel and venture capital is also an active rather than passive form of financing. These investors seek to add value, in addition to capital, to the companies in which they invest in an effort to help them grow and achieve a greater return on the investment. This requires active involvement and almost all venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors.

Although investors are committed to a company for the long haul, that does not mean indefinitely. The primary objective of equity investors is to achieve a superior rate of return through the eventual and timely disposal of investments. A good investor will be considering potential exit strategies from the time the investment is first presented and investigated.

The Venture Capital Process

A startup or high growth technology companies looking for venture capital typically can expect the following process:

  • Submit Business Plan. The venture fund reviews an entrepreneur’s business plan, and talks to the business if it meets the fund’s investment criteria. Most funds concentrate on an industry, geographic area, and/or stage of development (e.g., Start-up/Seed, Early, Expansion, and Later).
  • Due Diligence. If the venture fund is interested in the prospective investment, it performs due diligence on the small business, including looking in great detail at the company’s management team, market, products and services, operating history, corporate governance documents, and financial statements. This step can include developing a term sheet describing the terms and conditions under which the fund would make an investment.
  • Investment. If at the completion of due diligence the venture fund remains interested, an investment is made in the company in exchange for some of its equity and/or debt. The terms of an investment are usually based on company performance, which help provide benefits to the small business while minimizing risks for the venture fund.
  • Execution with VC Support. Once a venture fund has invested, it becomes actively involved in the company. Venture funds normally do not make their entire investment in a company at once, but in “rounds.” As the company meets previously-agreed milestones, further rounds of financing are made available, with adjustments in price as the company executes its plan.
  • Exit. While venture funds have longer investment horizons than traditional financing sources, they clearly expect to “exit” the company (on average, four to six years after an initial investment), which is generally how they make money. Exits are normally performed via mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). In many cases, venture funds will help the company exit through their business networks and experience.


November 3, 2011 in Financing

Research Grants for Small Businesses

If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development (R&D), you may qualify for federal grants under the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and the STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs.

SBIR and STTR programs encourage small businesses to undertake R&D projects that:

  • Meet federal R&D objectives
  • Have high potential for commercialization, if successful

A number of agencies award SBIR and STTR grants. Explore the resources below to find out more about specific programs and eligibility requirements.


Inventing 101

November 3, 2011 in General, Patents

By Ask The Inventors

Inventor’s Journal Join An Inventor Club Presenting To Manufacturers
Research Your Idea Criteria For Success Licensing Your Product
All About Patents 7 Things Every Inventor Should Know Toy & Game Inventing
Provisional Patent Application Develop A Prototype Don’t Be Scammed
Public Disclosure Invention Evaluation



The Great Idea Product Evaluations Offshore Manufacturing
Getting Started Patents/Patent Applications Marketing/Licensing
Invention Protection Trademarks Invention Contests
Prototypes Copyrights Funding

Royalty Income Formula

November 3, 2011 in Licensing

[100 - Shared Percentage] (%) x Royalty Rate (%) x Wholesale Price ($) x Units sold (Qty.) = Royalty Income
For example:
If you agree to share 30% with a licensing agent and you can get a 5% Royalty rate:
[100-30]% x 5% (royalty rate) x $25.00 (wholesale price) x 500,000 (units sold) = 70% x $625,000 = $437,500 total royalty income.


November 1, 2011 in Licensing, Marketing

Most individual inventors should consider licensing their “patent rights” to an existing manufacturer and simply collect a quarterly royalty.  It is important to understand that you license the “patent rights” and not the invention.  In other words, you must either have a patent or have applied for a patent (“patent pending”).  No manufacturer is going to seriously consider licensing your idea without a patent or patent pending.

Licensing your invention is basically a Four Step Process:

  1. Locate Manufacturers
  2. Prepare Marketing Material
  3. Submit Marketing Material to Manufacturers
  4. Negotiate License

Of course reaching Step 4 depends upon how well you do Steps 1 – 3.   You will first want to Locate 20 to 100 Manufacturers who make products similar to your invention.  You will then want to prepare a professional looking Marketing Letter and possibly even a Professional Brochure of your product.  You may even want to start your own Product Web Site showing your invention in further detail for the manufacturers that receive your marketing letter.  

After you receive some responses from manufacturers, the next step is to Negotiate the Licensing Agreement which you should hire an experienced attorney for.  If you are unable or unwilling to take the time for the Four Step Process, then you should consider our People Who Can Help section for assistance in marketing your invention to a manufacturer.



Ask the Inventors!

November 1, 2011 in General

This website is part of a kindness chain. If you find helpful information here we ask that you “pay it forward” by performing acts of kindness for others and asking them to pass it on. Let’s make this world a better place!

Great idea? What next? Are you looking for trustworthy help to get your invention developed, patented and on the market? We know how you feel; we have been right there! Now, as successful inventors, we help you to find success without being scammed by invention promoters. Developing, protecting and marketing can be confusing, but we are here with answers!

What you will find at Ask the Inventors! ®

  • Answers to the most popular invention questions we are asked here and in public. Everyday we get hundreds of emails from people who want to get started inventing. We provide our answers on this website.
  • Inventing Resources to help you get started. We have tried to provide our recommendations for inventing books, and invention services we believe will help you. Don’t miss our book page! We list books and help that could make the difference between getting your product to market or not.
  • Solid inventing advice on how to bring your invention to market. There are dozens of different ways to bring your invention from idea to reality. We are here to help you accomplish that goal.
  • Inventing News and Information in the Invention Industry. On this site you will find the latest information of interest to independent inventors. As new information comes to our attention we will pass it along.