Once you protect your invention by filing a patent for it, have you ever given a thought of adding more profits to your business by utilizing the patent? A patent, in general, is a right to exclude others from exploiting your invention. In fact, there are many more benefits that can be obtained after your invention is patented or even having filed a patent application.
There is even a famous movie “Flash of Genius” made focusing on the legal battle for patent rights between a college professor, Robert Kearns, and the Ford motor company. The battle commenced when Ford motor company developed an “intermittent windshield wiper” technology which was already patented by Robert Kearns. Aggrieved by the action of Ford Motors, Kearns knocked the doors of the Court of law. The court trial lasted many years and then, towards the end of the trial, Ford motor company offered 30 million US$ to Kearns for settlement outside the court, in order save their reputation in the market. But, Kearns did not accept their offer and continued to fight. The final judgment, by jury, awarded him 10.1 million US$.
The movie was an eye opener to inventors who can do a lot more with their patent in hand. Their patent can safeguard all the money associated with the invention and allow safe introduction of the product into the market. Patents are considered to be intangible assets and can even become business assets. The key is to increase the revenue by monetizing the patent. There are many ways of monetizing all the efforts with respect to intellectual sources. Some of the common ways that an inventor can make use of are listed below:
- Offering the patent for sale: Patents are intangible assets, but can be sold and bought, just like tangible assets. If you are running a small business and need financial backup, the best way to convert your invention into cash is by transferring your rights for the patent to someone else. One way of selling a patent in a limited amount of time is to find a patent broker, who acts as a mediator between you and the interested party. It could be any organization, institution or business. However, also make sure that the right broker is chosen – whose network closely matches your technology area. The other way would be a public auction, where various interested buyers are identified and bidding is carried out to finalize the price of your patent.
- License the Patent: If you want to continue to own the patent rights, the best way is to license your patent to companies that show interest in your invention. They can pay you royalties ranging between 3 and 20 percent on the sale of the product based on your technology, and the royalty can be received till the patent expires. The higher the technical value, higher is the monetary value of your patent.
- Patent Infringement: You can also look for products that are infringing your patent. Detecting infringement can play an important role in achieving a higher monetary return. There are two options available if someone infringes your patent. One will be to license your patent to the infringer and the other is to file an infringement suit against the infringer.
- Donating a Patent: If you want to be kind and generous, donating your patent to any organization, which can be an institute or small level organization, will be the best option. This may also reduce your tax liabilities.
Thus, a patent owner is accorded with various opportunities. The only thing required is a little effort and proper exploration.
In most developed countries, proper monetization of intellectual property (IP) is often practiced, while in India, IP is still in an early stage of exploration. In India, due to the lack of awareness about the significance of a patent, there are many innovations that still need to be patented which can provide monetary benefits to the inventor as well as to the country. Recently, the Government of India has come up with new schemes for start-ups to create awareness as well as encourage them to focus more on IPR. Click here to know more about start-ups schemes on IPR by the government.
Who knows? Your innovation could be the one that needs to be patented and monetized. So, it is better not to delay further and enjoy the various benefits by filing a patent.