A new patent licensing model – SELL A BOOK!
Traditional patent licensing is a pretty complicated and long winded affair. Some big hearted souls even go through the cost, expense and work of a patent only to end up making it public domain… good for them but not really the point of getting patent protection.
So what can be done to make money from your invention that fills the space between full commercial licenses and giving away licences. Here is my idea:
Include a licence with the cost of purchasing a book.
Wha? Yes, include the cost of a patent licence when you sell a book about your invention.
Still confused? Think about this. Besides the few dozen companies that may ultimately pay a decent royalty for your invention there may be literally thousands of people who may want to use your idea for their own project. How do you give them a relatively cheap way to licence your patent AND give them all the info they need to understand and implement your patent?
The answer is obvious when you think about it. An eBook.
A vehicle that covers your basic costs, shows the value of your invention AND gives the buyer what they need to get value from what you invented… a reasonably priced limited license.
How about this for an example. I invented a simple system for detecting when a tire is flat. It is so simple anyone can make the invention with a kids noise maker and a band of aluminium. But how do I share this idea without it costing me money and without losing any real opportunity to make a decent royalty fr4om it later?
If I publish a book including a limited license I can reach all those home users and small business users who would love to try out and use my idea. Even the big targets like the Goodyear Tyre Company or Repco could buy the book and get a limited licence to try out and evaluate the idea. The book could even have guidelines of licensing terms as well as well thought out conditions of use to allow small business users and individuals to freely use the invention.
I have quite a few projects that could benefit from this approach:
- The Reputation Based Social Network – a concept that has so many applications, it makes more sense to explain all the possibilities and let people run with it than try to lock it down to a single model.
- The flat tire detector – because its simple and a lot of people may find it really helpful, but I also need a vehicle to explain it to big licensee prospects.
- Kalvin Ernst’s Cloud computing scripts – Kalvin’s ideas are truly elegant in their simplicity and a real temptation to people to just use them and not pay Kalvin a dime. But this model enables all the little guys to fully understand his concepts and implementations and pay appropriately for their use of his idea.
Looking back it feels like nearly everything I invent should have a mini book written about it even if all it means is that people get to use it and I have the impetus to fully explain how the invention works. Even if I end up not doing a full patent for an idea, most of the time I have come up with inventions to solve problems for people, and the least I could do is outline how people could solve the problem for themselves using my invention outlined in a book that others can benefit from.