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Invent Secrets - Help to Market and License Your Patent or Invention Ideas

Lambert & Lambert - Invention Marketing and Licensing Agents for Patents and Product Ideas


A Patent Is No Magic Bullet

By Paul Niemann, President of Market Launchers


Sometimes an inventor believes that his work is done after he receives a patent. He thinks he can sit back and wait for someone to beat a proverbial path to his doorstep for the rights to it. In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, only a small percentage of patented products actually produces a profit.

Why is the percentage of profitable inventions so low? There are 2 main reasons.

First, there is simply not a market for most patented inventions. This means that your invention Ė the one youíve been pouring your life into for the last several years Ė might not sell if and when you get a patent on it. The world doesnít want a product thatís 15 years ahead of its time; the world wants a product thatís 15 minutes ahead of its time.

Second, inventing a product is a totally different skill than marketing a product. Most inventors would rather invent new products than try to sell them. They either donít know how to go about marketing a new product, or they just donít want to do the marketing part. Yet itís the marketing part thatís accomplishes what you set out for in the beginning Ė invent a product that people will want to buy.

If your invention is patentable, you must answer a few questions to help determine if you should apply for a patent.


This means knowing what demographic variables describe your intended customers, i.e. age group, gender, income level, and so on. Be specific. For example would your product be for middle-aged men or stay-at-home moms? Your product is not "for everybody."


This is important for several reasons: If you price your product too high, youíll lose some potential sales. If you price it too low, youíll miss out on some of the profit that you deserve. Also, price is often an indicator of quality. A price thatís set too low often gives the impression of inferior quality. A higher, but reasonable price indicates that the product is of high quality.


A common rule of thumb is that the production cost should be no more than 20 -- 25 percent of the final purchase price. This is because there will be additional mark-ups between you and the final consumer. There will be markups to the wholesaler, the salesperson and the retailer. Most middlemen mark it up by 75% -- 100 percent. There are also advertising and promotional costs along the way, even if youíre selling your product directly to the end user.

What other products exist that serve the same market? How are they different and how are they similar?

Knowing the level of competition that your invention will face gives you an idea as to how your product will be received by potential licensees if you choose to go the licensing route. On the other hand, if youíre planning to manufacture it yourself, the level of competition will have an impact on the response from your potential distributors and end users.

If there are no products similar to yours, it usually means one of two things: Either there is no demand for your type of product, or (ideally) there is a demand not currently being filled.

These are important questions that you need to answer before you decide whether or not to apply for a patent. If you canít answer these questions satisfactorily and in an unbiased manner, then the issue of patentability becomes a moot point. Whether you are an independent inventor or are employed to develop new products, thereís not much point in applying for a patent unless your invention can generate revenue for you or your company. Thomas Edison once said, "Anything that wonít sell, I donít want to invent." After all, if it wonít generate revenue, then what is there to protect?

A productís patentability does not guarantee its marketability. Learn as much as you can about how to market your product and get the help you might need. As much as we want you to be successful, we want even more to buy the products we canít bear to be without Ė yours!


Paul Niemann runs, building web pages for inventors. Having your own web page allows you to show your invention to companies when youíre unable to present it to them in person, serving as your own ďonline brochure.Ē Plus, there are companies who search the Invention Database for new products. Visit for details and pricing.