Turning your IP into money-making products and services is the goal of licensing. It’s a money-making process, not a legal process (although protecting your IP is legal). But it requires learning what the proper steps are and when to take them. And most important, it requires understanding what you must do to make your IP irresistible to a potential licensing partner.
Creating IP value is what makes an IP irresistible. But building value requires more than just receiving a patent, copyright, or trademark. No matter what kind of IP you own, there are specific actions you must take to create value. In the case of licensing, it’s what you do to prove the marketability and viability of your IP. Sometimes IP builds value fast. In other cases, it takes time. There are many ways to create value, and knowing which one to use can save you time and money.
One of the best ways is to test it out with customers. Testing your sales can be done on a local, regional, or national basis. For new product inventions, selling the products through one or more retail channels will be one of your best strategies to prove customer demand. If you have a proprietary service, such as training courses (knowhow), selling it directly to customers or companies confirms there is a market for it. If it’s a new entertainment property, develop some animation, show it online, and get customer feedback. Anything you can do to prove customer interest in your intellectual property will build its value.
Remember, the number one issue for a potential licensing partner is how they make money with your IP. If it doesn’t work, it’s not going to make their money. You’ve got to show licensees that it does make money. The more money it makes, the more irresistible it will be to a potential licensing partner.