A Beginner's Guide: How to Rent Your Ideas to Fortune 500 Companies (Plus: Video)

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I first met Stephen Key in 2001. Two months later, I used a few recommendations of his — shared over the customary gin tonic — to help a friend double overseas sales in less than two weeks in New Zealand and Australia.

How? Licensing. It can be a beautifully elegant model.

Stephen is somewhat famous in inventing circles for two reasons. First, he consistently earns millions of dollars licensing his ideas to companies like Disney, Nestle, and Coca-Cola. Second, he is fast. It seldom takes him more than three weeks to go from idea to a signed deal.

He is not high-tech. There are no multi-year product development cycles. He specializes is creating simple products or improving upon existing products, often using nothing more than a single-sided drawing or photograph. Coupled with refined cold-calling skills, Stephen meets with some of the most influential marketing executives in the world. In this interview, we’ll explore how this advisor to American Inventor rents his ideas to Fortune 500 companies.

1- What exactly is licensing, and why is it a good option for people with ideas but little time or patience?

I think licensing is a bit of mystery to many people. It really doesn’t have to be.

Licensing is renting your idea to a manufacturer. The manufacturer handles the marketing, manufacturing, distribution and basically everything else required to bring the product to market.

Usually quarterly (four times a year), the manufacturer pays you a royalty on every unit they sell. This royalty—generally a percentage of the total wholesale price—is your payment for bringing them a new product idea that they can sell to their customers.

It’s an attractive low-risk alternative to manufacturing products and taking them to market yourself.

Using licensing, I can spend my time coming up with new product ideas instead of worrying about balance sheets, cash flow, employees and all the other hassles of running a company. I might pitch three ideas one month and no ideas for the next two months. You can have total flexibility with your work schedule.

Here’s one tip on how to make sure you get paid a certain amount four times a year.

Minimum Guarantees – So here’s why I use the term “renting” when describing licensing your idea to a manufacturer. It’s very important to make sure the manufacturer performs. You need a performance clause in the licensing contract. Without a performance clause, the manufacturer could just sit on the idea and do nothing with it. I’ve seen it happen.

Ensure you have a “Minimum Guarantee” clause in the contract. A minimum guarantee clause basically says the manufacturer needs to perform and sell a specified number of units every quarter or every year. Otherwise, you get your idea back and you can license your idea to another manufacturer.

It isn’t usually necessary to call in [enforce] the minimum guarantee clause. Most of the time you want to give the manufacturer a chance to perform. After all, you are partnering with them and they’ve spent big money on setting up their facilities to manufacture your new product.

Here’s another tip: Don’t front load the deal. I see many people with ideas doing this. They ask for large up front fees and make it to hard for the manufacturer to say yes to the deal. Instead ask only a small amount of money up front and scale up the minimum guarantees each quarter.

An example of minimum guarantees:

100,000 units quarter one

200,000 units quarter two

300,000 units quarter three

Let’s say the manufacturer sells 110,000 units quarter one. You would get paid a royalty on each of the 110,000 units sold.

Then let’s say the manufacturer only sells 190,000 units quarter two. The manufacturer can choose to pay you the royalty for the minimum 200,000 units they guaranteed you they would sell and they would retain the rights to manufacture your idea.

You should be OK with these “Minimum Guarantee” numbers since you set them up when you negotiated the contract. Set up numbers you think the manufacture can meet and that you’ll be OK with if the manufacture just meets the agreed upon “Minimum Guarantee”.

Of course you would prefer to earn royalties on 600,000 units every quarter, but you know you are guaranteed at least a certain “Minimum Guarantee” every quarter. This makes it nice when budgeting to buy that new sports car you’ve had your eye on.

2- I’ve heard you say that the most important thing you can do when licensing an idea is to spend as little time and money on the project before you get feedback from a manufacturer. Why?

Yes, that’s true. Unfortunately, it’s the exact opposite of what most people do. Most people go out and spend $3k to $20k or more on a patent and a few grand or more on a prototype first.

Time is the enemy in this process.

I’ve talked to inventors who have been contemplating or working on ideas for years. That’s not me. When I have an idea, it only takes me three days to three weeks to find out if the idea has legs.

On average, I recommend that my students take no longer than three weeks to three months before they make the decision to keep working on the project or dump the idea and move onto the next one.

Spend very little time or money on a project before you get feedback from manufacturers. The reason for this is simple: You’re not going to hit every idea out of the ballpark. Sometimes the benefits of the idea just aren’t intriguing enough. Maybe the idea has some manufacturing problems. Maybe the idea has been tried before and you didn’t find it with your research. There can be many reasons why manufacturers decide not to move forward with an idea.

You need to call a handful of potential manufacturers that might sell your idea. It takes very little time and next to no money to make the calls, and it’s the only way you’ll get the critical early-stage feedback.

File a provisional patent application ($100), create your sell sheet ($0-$80) and start making phone calls as soon as possible. That’s totally the opposite of what most people do. Most people dream or plan and research the idea to death.

The reality is that you will never be as knowledgeable about a particular industry as a manufacturer that been in the business for thirty years. They’ve seen everything imaginable in their product area. Their opinion is the only one that matters. Get your idea in front of them as soon as possible and get the feedback you need to pursue it or kill it.

Here’s a summary of my solution to the patent and prototype hang ups many people seem to have.

PATENTS:

PROBLEM (What most people do):

The majority of people I talk to think the first thing they need to do is go out and spend money to have an expensive patent filled by a patent attorney. Here’s why that’s wrong: Many times you’re going to get complaints from manufacturers that your idea needs to be fixed in one way or another. No problem. You’re creative and they aren’t. Go back to the drawing board and fix the problems the manufacturer presented.

The only problem is that if you’ve wasted $3k to $20k on a patent, now your going to need to file another patent covering the new features of your product. Another $3-20k? I don’t think so. There is a better way.

SOLUTION (My method for you):

Instead, spend $100 on a Provisional Patent Application (PPA). A PPA gives you one year to fish of the end of the pier to see if anyone is interested in your idea.

A PPA also allows you to say “patent pending.” It’s a huge benefit to the small guy! If you come up with a new version of your invention, just file another PPA with the additional features. With my approach, you should be able to get a “go” or “no go” in three weeks to three months.

Make sure to put another one to five months aside for negotiations and you’ll still have many months left on your twelve month PPA.

Then when you license your idea to a manufacturer, you’ll put in the contract that the manufacturer is responsible for paying your attorney to upgrade your PPA to a full patent and put it in your name! This is how I get multiple patents, in my name, paid for by manufacturers.

PROTOTYPES

PROBLEM (What most people do):

People think you need to have a polished and perfect prototype in order to sell an idea. I have sold many ideas with very simple prototypes and many without prototypes at all .

What people don’t understand is that you are not selling your prototype or your patent. I’ll say that again. You’re not selling your prototype or patent. You are selling the benefits of your idea.

SOLUTION (My method for you):

Create a sell sheet. What the heck is a “sell sheet”? It’s a regular 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper. It’s like an ad for your idea. It has the big benefit of your product in one sentence at the top, maybe a few sub benefits or features in bullets below and a picture or drawing of your idea. “Oh, but I have to build a prototype,” many will say. No, you don’t.

You don’t need a prototype until you get some interest. If you don’t get any interest, you haven’t wasted time on a prototype.

Your sell sheet should be like a billboard on the freeway. People should be able to glance at it for a few seconds and understand the benefit of buying your invention. They don’t need to understand every feature or hear you make clichéd statements like, “if we only sell this to 1% of all households in the country, this new idea will make millions”.

My one line benefit statement for one of my biggest ideas was, “I have a new label innovation that ads 75% more space to your container.” That’s it. I didn’t need to explain how when I called on the phone, they just wanted to know more.

Benefits, benefits. That’s what you are selling. Not your patent or prototype.

Stephen in motion: Repurposing existing products in 5 minutes for a call sheet model or prototype…

[To be continued in Part II: negotiated royalty rates, who to call within companies, product idea criteria, what product categories to avoid, and more]

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with over 400 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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494 Replies to “A Beginner's Guide: How to Rent Your Ideas to Fortune 500 Companies (Plus: Video)”

    1. Troy,

      There is no legal requirement to file an LLC when you do a deal with a company. However, I’d highly recommend it.

      Many of my students wait to file the LLC until they are in the midst of their first deal.

      However, this is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you want a legal opinion.

      1. Hi- I need to ask you a question!

        What are the disadvantages of licensing a new idea product to a larger company vs a smaller one?

        thank you very much for your time 🙂

  1. Thanks Kat, i really do appreciate your time and candid advice.

    Maybe I’m breaking my head for nothing trying to get this patent thing done. Who knows, maybe i might not need it as such. In fact, it is likely i might not need it in the long run. And my reason being that the area sales manager of the company i am talking to at the moment really does like my idea, in his words, he said, “if not for the bureaucracy of big organizations he would have ‘oked’ the idea himself and see how it goes”. I really can’t emphasize enough his cooperation. In fact, two weeks from now he has promised to personally approach R&D department to find out if they have anything lined up regarding my idea, since October was the beginning of the companies new financial year.

    I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope for something good. And I’ll also let you know how it all went. Thanks once again for your concern. And I’ll also find time to check out both kiva and kickstarter.

      1. Dez, That’s a personal decision you need to make. I’d contact your legal advisor. I can tell you what i do. I file a PPA and just get the product in. Most companies won’t sign your NDA early on. Your PPA is your protection.

  2. how do you contact manufacturers or even know who they are? I’m a RN and also have MBA, I see products and have ideas that would help people all the time but I’m never certain the process. You have given me the process now I need phone numbers

  3. Hi Stephen and Andrew,

    I am a little bit confused concerning licensing to multiply companies. If more than one company out of 100 will be interested in my product – should I choose better deal or it is legal to license the product to both of them in one country? How it works ?

    Thank you a lot for your advice and time

    1. Olga,

      That’s a good problem to have. Yes it’s legal to license your idea to more than one company. However, it doesn’t make sense if they sell the exact same thing in the exact same stores. So it’s really about using common sense. And yes…. take the best deal if you have multiple offers.

  4. Hi,

    I have an idea I really like and that I would like to have licensed. But I don’t really know how to approach this. That 1-year PPA: Is it country-specific? I mean, when I have it licensed in Canada – can still someone in Europe come up with the same idea?

    Can I have it licensed in Canada even though I am not a Canadian citizen?

    And how to find an office that offers PPA?

    Thanks a lot,

    Caroline

    1. Caroline, Google USPTO and you’ll find the patent office web site. You or anyone else in the world can file for a PPA (Provisional Patent Application). Now it’s only $65 if you earn under $150k a year. Patents only protect you in the countries in which you file them, however you may have some rights to later file internationally if you file a US PPA. This is not legal advice as I’m not a patent attorney, so please make sure to contact an attorney for legal advice.

  5. Greetings, I believe your blog could be having web

    browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari,

    it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.

    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!

    Other than that, excellent website!

  6. Hello, I am a product developer and have a product patent. How do I get a list of manufacturers. It is a product for vehicles, thats designed to save lives. Thanks.

    1. Cassandra, Stephen and i have a list of 1,400 companies looking for ideas on our web site. Feel free to use it. Click on my name above to visit the inventRight web site and then look under the help menu. It’s free, but is not meant to be a go to list, but rather a supplement. You need to make your hit list from scratch. Look around where you want to sell. Then call the manufacturers selling there.

  7. Hi Andrew…great tips…what about an entrepreneur like me who has a unique gourmet pizza spice…Are the steps for licensing a food product like a spice blend similar? Thanks…Matt

    1. Hello Matt, Kitchen and cooking are hot categories. It’s tough to get a patent on what would be essentially a combination of natural substances like spices, however if you had a processing method you might be able to get some protection on a method of manufacturing. The steps to license a food product would be the same as with any other product. FYI – I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you are seeking legal advice.

      1. Hi Andrew,

        is it possible to modify other manufacturers product already on the market? My idea is to have this 2 products manufactured as 1 product. this 2 products are sold separately but i haven’t seen them use together as this 2 are not design to use together. My idea is to make the first product similar but slightly different design and different colour to what is on the market or as much try to make it different looks but same function. The second product won’t look the same because of its size, weight and design. But will function or will produce the same benefit just like the 1 on the market. If this 2 products will combine as 1 product it will give a more better benefits when the 2 product join together. this product is very useful that the average use in our State is about 5600 pieces per week and is a single use only. in California alone approximately 30,000 per week. Hope you can give me more advice on how to look for a manufacturer or who are interested in modified ideas. I am not very interested in making this product my own as i don’t have resources, but royalty percentage would be very good for me as this product is very useful that i use them everyday at work. and this can be use not only in 1 country but the whole world. I’m sure its been using it but not with my modified idea.

        Thank you in advance and hope to here from you.

        Richard

      2. Richard, a lot of products are created by mixing and matching two existing products into a new idea. You have to be careful that you aren’t using someone else’s technology that is patented. You can file a PPA combining what you are doing, but you might be patenting over someone, and you may possibly have to pay them to use their technology. You could license to them, but you wouldn’t be able to license to someone new without their approval. I’m not an attorney, and I’m not giving legal advice.

        This is a fairly technical question. If you have any others, please feel free to contact my business partner, Andrew Krauss, at 800-701-7993.

  8. Im looking to make some quick cash. I just want to sell my idea. I talked to a company and they are ready to sign contract for idea. I dont have money nor funds to create prototype. What can i do?

    1. Michelle, that is fantastic news about the contract! If you don’t have the funds to build a prototype, you could ask the interested company to build one for you, but you will have to find someone to build a prototype. This is called proof of concept.

  9. Hi, I have an idea about tables for daycare centers that would help promote literacy with name and word labels in a way that does not interfere with table sanitation from the adhesives commonly used in labels. How do I know if there is a market for this? Where can I start that typeof research? All I know is that Daycare regulation agencies are now big on promoting literacy using word labels and all daycares have to comply. But how do I know if Daycare and school directors rather pay extra time to the staff to sanitize after removing labels or are they willing to invest in theses tables that would eliminate that sanitizing extra time? How do I know if there is a market to even start a prototype?

    1. Mia, this is the first step in my program, and I practice what I teach! You have to study the marketplace. This will help you determine if there is a market for your idea. I would start with a sell sheet that shows the benefits of your idea, and show it to people in the industry. I’m not an attorney, and I’m not giving legal advice, but I would recommend filing a PPA to protect yourself.

  10. Hi. I am a student from a private university in nigeria. I have an idea that I will like to license to a big company.i made dogtags that glow in the dark for the final year set of my school and customers really liked them.i really think it could provide me a better platform to license my other ideas and that it can promote a company’s brand name within youths in universities .

    I am not sure of any big company like that or how to contact them.

    1. Kolade,

      I did a quick search for glow in the dark dog tags on google images. There are a lot out there. You’ll need to come up with something unique about your glow in the dark dog tags in order to license them. However, if you want to sell them I guess that’s a possibility. Sounds like you could contact a manufacture and buy them to resell.

  11. Hello, I have a idea to license a product to the three major sports leagues, nfl, nba, and mlb, however I don’t know how to manufacture the product I have in mind, is it feasible to even get a license from these sports leagues?

    1. Brian,

      Here’s the easy route….. License it to a company that already has permission to use these licenses on their merchandise. If you have a new coffee mug for example that’s in the shape of a hockey puck. Then license it to a company making coffee mugs with the NFL logo already on it. Get it?

    1. Hanna,

      I would need more info to answer your question but i’ll give some general advice on licensing apps.

      Find companies selling similar apps and license to them. Also, don’t license to companies that don’t have a good track record of success.

      If you were licensing a physical product like a new BBQ spatula, you’d hit up manufacturers that sell in places like Walmart or Target right. You know they have good distribution that way.

      Same goes for the app stores. Don’t try to sell to an app company that isn’t doing big numbers in the app stores.

  12. Dear,

    I am Goran Dulic of Serbia but currently live and work in China.Through the work that I’m working I came to a very good idea.I know that from my ideas can make millions of money. The idea of ​​such an idea can not protect you because it is not patent.What do you suggest I do?

    With respect,Goran

  13. just received my portfolio for my invention have all the paperwork for invention and business looking for manufacture and distributioner to licensed product and distribute to retail stores

  14. This info is an exact copy of what’s in Stephen Key’s book. We all know you were his student of his like any of us. It is not enough to give him a quick nod at the beginning, and then steal his ideas (e.g. “my method for you”), and run. Hope this isn’t your modus operandi, Tim.

  15. Thanks for the help here. I too have an idea which is so simple I can’t believe it’s still not on the market. I have been thinking about it for years but always thought I’d have to make a prototype & had no idea how to go about it.

  16. Hi,am a student of university of Ghana but in my country its very hard to make your idea known to the world.I

    believe i can help combat the Ebola with my program i have

    developed.The problem lies in how to find people immediately they get

    affected by the Ebola virus,with this we can easily treat the

    person.but if we are to wait till a person shows signs and symptoms of

    the virus,it implies that the virus has already matured and it has

    leave the person at the verge of dieing.Since my program can detect

    people who have contracted the virus at the initial stages,treating them is will be easier.we can

    choose to isolate these people from the society and give them

    treatment.Thanks.please how do i get companies who are interested in my idea for a detailed information about myself and my idea.Thanks

  17. My idea is High Tech equipment since the government allow anybody and everybody to

    Come in to the country my idea is a tracking devise to let you know who coming and what there intentions are and a whole background check and a high alert system for airports trains

    System building system hotels and where they are at at all times and the same for banks as well this where nobody could get into anybody account there will be a alert system to shut them down right away the high tech system will alert the FBI right away where no terrorist cant stay here thats my idea cynthia wright

  18. BTW: When cutting out things like that the straight edge should go over the material you want to keep and the open side on the waste side in case the razor gets off the straight edge you don’t cut your good material.

  19. I wish to know what you know. Thank you for the advise a need now. I have been working on my idea with invention home for a year I still waiting for something to happen I need redo my provitional patenti my question how I reach those companies .myself

  20. Thank you for the tips, I have already a Patent and a Product so I will get ready the Marketing letter. Any tips on how to deal with manufacturers. thanks.

  21. in reading your 1st book for the 2nd time, saw this info. Having been referred to as a prolific inventor by a patent attorney mentor, I’m looking for Part 2 of this great article.

    Working off cell, so pardon if there’s a link I’m not seeing.

  22. thanks for the advice. I am hopeful that it will stop the bleeding, my brain is about to explode from all my innovative ideas. One simple question, can this format work with the giants, google, apple, amazon etc. and if so what title should I be looking to contact.

  23. Great information and amazing step by step detail on how to go about this… I’ve spent over a year getting the provisional patent done and now have my idea in a prototype company and wish I came across your information sooner.

    One challenge I seemingly keep coming across is manufacturing. I’ve been trying to research a manufacturer both here in the states and overseas to manufacture my product… at the same time, I am researching marketing plans, website design, packaging etc and now, enlightened by your input on calling a manufacturer and “renting” them the idea. Unless I missed it, can you provide insight on what to look for when identifying manufacturers who will license a product or idea that will take on the manufacturing, packaging, licensing as I feel it’s my missing element to your 3-10 days or ditch the idea.

    My product has to do with both leisure and business travel and I’d love a kick in the right direction!

    Thanks for providing this info for everyone to learn from!

    Best,

    Jason Klugh

  24. Why don’t we put in a red button connected to the GPS on the miles per hour speed limit on the road that you’re on so as soon as you reach that speed limit Mark a red light goes off on yourDashboard?

  25. Great information and perfect timing as I am about to license my first deal. Thank you is not enough. It is very hard to find information on the internet without having to pay an arm and a leg. So, kudos for being the great giver that you are. I will pay it forward in every way I can. Thanks Tim, and God Bless!

  26. Many thanks!I’m very grateful to come across your site this is because i have been battling with the issue of how to get started with making my ideas known to manufacturers that needs them and how i will not be cheated since i have not done anything like this before. Thank you again.

  27. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life I have tried to start 4 businesses and failed but the ultimate goal is just to get my inventions that I love coming up with out to the world and make some money from it.thank you so much this changes everything. All the negative is gone this with this aproach.

  28. I know I have a great idea. Once I get a provisional patent, how do I get in contact with companies, or the how do I get in contact with the right person in the company I want to rent my idea to.

  29. I still don’t see any comments from Stephen in regards to what others have touched on. Patents, PPA’s and the like are useless. “Invention” companies make their money from wide-eyed inventors who don’t realize this. You don’t think JVC (first VCR for public sale) didn’t apply for a kabillion patents on their invention? Every electronics company in the world came with their own VCR getting around the patents with a their own design. Even a simple change, like moving around circuit boards, would be enough to get around JVC’s patents.

    With the internet and/or the know-how to access PPA’s or Patent Pending’s, another person/company can access the PPA, make a simple design change, and run with it before the original inventor knew what hit them.

    Steve… would you kind enough to comment?

  30. I have a helpful product that is not on the market at all. I made the prototype myself. How can I sell or license it to manufacturers and/or retailers?

  31. Hi I have a prototype made by Davison design and now I’m looking for help to get licensing and on the shelves but unfortunately Davison is not doin much to get it licensing so I would really appeeciated if some one out there is willing to go forward

  32. Wow! Tim Ferriss, I have been an inventor since the age of around 5… but I have never done anything with most of my ideas because of the patent cost issue/process. This may be a great way to move forward with my ideas! I invented all kinds of cool stuff. Not long after Uni, working as an Industrial Designer I invented a beam cross section shape that was 5% stiffer than a conventional I beam…. but it used just one third of the steel! And when I was working in KWA Design Group in Sydney I mentioned my colourful computer idea, i.e. No Beige to Danny Coster who has been a long time Apple Designer. I’ll buy the book and see if I can leverage the method of using my copious amount if innovative gadgets! 😀 These days I design Science Fiction Machines Thanks indeed!

  33. Hi everyone… seeking a little help here from lil’ ol’ England… how do I find the right firm to help me licence my new cycle clothing product to a US manufacturer

  34. I was browsing One Simple Idea and I have some questions in my mind. Since the original book was published a while back. Is the preferred way of sending sell sheets is still via Fedex or is email or some other easy way any good now. Also if you are churning out say 6 ideas a day, do you ppa them and send them or just send them cause if you do thats spending a few hundred dollars a day. If you dont then are the companies reliable in coming in an agreement with you. Wont they just dont care and make it without giving any royalty cause they are not legally obliged.

    I am confused and excited about all this. Hope to be enlightened.

  35. Hay i have patent pending on my swivel joint charger..it could be used for ipodz ipads cell phones whatever…i do i like u say sell this to companys….for royalties. …i have victory international group is interested but its takin forever

  36. Mr. Ferriss sorry to bother you. I found this article to be very informative because I am one of those people that do not have a ton of money. Would I follow the same procedures above if my ideas make an invention better or used in another way? I know I can’t just call the company because their just going to say it is in process. Could you please give me some direction? I know we all think we have good ideas and sometimes like you said they just don’t work but I would love to at least try

  37. Good Morning I was hoping you can advise me, About a year ago I went to one those invention companies to find out if my idea was worth any thing they advised me yes it was they want 9000.00 to get it up and running, and someone told me I can get it to market by myself, So I was wondering how to go about it without it costing me so much money Im a single mom and really don’t have the funds. Thank you

  38. Great post! I would like to add something. Speaking from experience, I had an idea along time ago and with little expense, I went to the malls and ask my customers directly what they thought of my product. No lawyers, no marketing people, no vultures if you what I mean. Here I get direct honest feedback from my target market without the expense or risk. By doing this we can make the necessary adjustments, reduce our mistakes and then apply Tims great tips.

  39. I have my some idea like wheelchair by fingers control no need fuel, battery no one’s assistance also needed. If you are interested can I get royalty. if what percentage. Also many similar thing.

  40. If the product is not yet in patent-pending or have not yet been granted a patent, isn’t it not safe to call companies in such an early “stage” with just an idea? Could it not be easily stolen from me?

  41. I have many ideas for products I would like to carry on, but I do not really know where I can express my idea. My family is in need of money, and I am trying to help with some creative ideas I have. Please help me where I can express my idea and get money.

  42. Would like to speak to someone I have a restaurant idea about that I believe would make an exceptional amount of money. I just need to know how to get started and who would be honest in helping me out. Thanks in advance

  43. Tim, This is not a comment, more a question. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of building with bricks loosening and falling causing injury to some below. Assuming that vibrations cause the mortar to loosen, i can up with a mortarless Interlocking block, or brick, where that can not happen. It turned out to be a remarkably sturdy construction. I call them “Encompassing locking blocks.” Received the original provision Patent and applied for another with improvements. Spoke to a brick and block manufacturer who said ” Everybody thinks they have a great idea”. That made me think, thinking I have a great idea is not enough, I must know it’s great. That was the cause of the second provisional. Worked on it until there was no possible way to improve it. Made 3D printed prototypes to be sure it went together as i saw it, and it did. The brick manufacturer is willing to take a look. My problem is, I do not know what to ask for. I’m sure he will see the potential. My blocks will assemble twice as fast as mortar constructed. They make a more stable building. No skilled labor is needed. Your suggestion of renting sounds like the best way for me to go.If I ask for him to make the molds, make the bricks, sell and ship, leaving me nothing to do; What can I ask for ?. Do I give him a five year contract for all of New Your State ? What kind of percentage should i expect? Please advise.

    hope to hear from you,

    Thomas Campagna

  44. I am kind of hapy to have come acros this words of advice,for a long time I have been robed off my ideas in South Africa, I believe I was pluged wit somekind of super devise which links my ideas to the people who ar stealin my ideas, I wouldnt like to think deep without taking the devise out of my system because other people I dont know ar wit it mornitor and controler, please I need help here,what can I do and how would I know who is eating my royalties since 2007 til now? I would like to know the people involved in stealing my ideas, I only found out two months back that am devised. thanks for lyten up my comfusion.

  45. I’ve an idea with a USA licensing company now. I am Uk based. It’s fully patented in uk and pending in USA. They seem to be moving too slow. It’s a safety item legally required on all European roads and with trucks in the USA. Massive appeal.

    Can you help speed it up. ?

  46. I have a great little fashion accessory idea I have sold a lot of them but I want the world to see it I want to sell my idea I don’t want to make it my self please show me the way to go I am 67 years and I do not have any money show me what to do.

  47. Just stumbled on this article. Is this advice still valid. Is there anything new in 2016 in how people can rent ideas? What if it’s a food product, and not a mechanical or toy type product? (PS Where were you in 2003 when I came up with a billion dollar idea for the car industry, but had no idea what to do)

  48. How long does a licensing contract generally last for?

    If a licensing contract with a company comes to term, can I license it to another company after that?

    What type of attorney will I need to draw up the contract and generally how much does that cost?

  49. M actually not an engineer i am a school dropout dont have futher studies but infact,the idea i have in a car its really out of this planet its a small idea,but it will engineers Minds m from South Africa in a vry rural area strugglin to find a job,bt i am up for learning i am a fast leaner so contact me for you guys to show that u really take dis comments crusly please am beggin u to contact me back my name is Andile Ntjanga Godfrey its jst a small idea inside a car key

  50. Absolutely refreshing and informative. I have an idea that I’m willing to rent but I’m stuck at the moment. I live in the West Indies and I’m new to the idea of approach and uncertain of whom I can trust in this business. I’ve taken the first step and I contact a future investor but his company’s fee were too high. Could you please suggest some companies that might be willing to rent my idea. I trust your expertise and I’d be most appreciative. Thank you in advance kind Sir.

  51. Always get a provitional patent I sent a drawing to tide detergent many years before they came out with my idea of the pods a worker probably took it and waited presented it and made money of it. Even the container looks like my design people are animals they could care less