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Breaking the Rules

We've all heard the statistic that 97% of all patents never make a dime. It really doesn't even seem plausible, does it? Why in the world would somebody invest in a costly patent when the certainty of failure seems very likely?

But I see it often. A new student joins us at inventRight. He or she has been working on their idea for months, if not years. They have spent thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars. "Where in the process are you?" I ask them. Often their product has no marketing material, has yet to be shown to prospective investors, and they only have a very rudimentary prototype. How can this be? They were willing to spend significant money on a patent. Did they not look ahead at what must be done next? The short answer is, no. Really, that is no fault of their own. They don't know what they don't know and that is fine and to be expected.

At inventRight we have a 10-step system which is so tested and true that we guarantee to "get you in the game," as our co-founder Stephen Key can often be heard saying on our YouTube channel inventRight TV. Nothing we ask you to do is difficult. Nothing we want you to do is even revolutionary. It's all been done before. But nobody had ever written it down. Nobody had ever broken it down into 10 very simple steps. Until recently, the only clear path inventors were aware of was the unrestricted voyage to a patent attorney's office. That path is always void of any obstacles and their doors are always wide open! But after the attorney gets your product patented (and your money), then what? Now what path do you go down? Most people aren't so sure. Want to become part of that 97% statistic? I didn't think so.

Our path here at inventRight is very linear. In fact, I tell all of my students on day one that if you trust me, and more importantly trust the process, I will put you in the absolute best position to get your product in front of the right decision makers. We have a very hard, defined set of rules that you must follow to be successful… or do we?

I like to think that I am quite self-aware. As a seasoned law enforcement officer, I realize that I do fit the stereotypical mold of a cop. I can be quite rigid. I rarely deviate from rules, policies and regulations. But I am here to tell you there are a few times when I think it's okay to veer off the inventRight path. Some say rules are meant to be broken. While the cop in me can't wholeheartedly get behind that statement, perhaps there are a couple little rules we can bend – if not break.

Rule #1: After a contact at a potential licensee rejects your product, do not find another contact at the same company and try to pitch them. This will likely cause internal strife and is not a good look for the inventor. This is a quick way to ruin any relationship and hopes of pitching that company in the future.

Rule Broken: Recently a student of mine pitched his product to a potential licensee. He was given a quick and hard "No!" The contact made statements that made it plainly obvious that he had not read the sell sheet. Further, the contact did not even watch his extremely well-done demo video. This was substantiated when my student noticed that no new YouTube views had registered on his real-time monitoring app. Certainly, he wasn't being given the time of day. With my encouragement, my student found a new contact at that company on LinkedIn and got his product in. The new contact loves it!

Rule #2: Never pitch your product in the following manner: "Hi, I'm John and I am the inventor of…."

Rule Broken: The only time introducing yourself may be a good idea is if you are an expert in your field. inventRight student Sean M. is a professional and seasoned plumber. He recorded his incredible video demo in his plumber outfit and inside his work vehicle. When he presented his toilet-related product on camera, he introduced himself as "Sean the plumber." Wow! His credibility just went up tenfold!

Rule #3: Never contact the CEO or a high-ranking member at a large potential licensee. At a large corporation the CEO is just not the right place to concentrate your efforts.

Rule Broken: inventRight student Paula R. did just this. Her product has been licensed by her dream company, which has mass distribution in her category. Now that's a rule worth breaking!

Rule #4: Only invent in an industry where there are numerous potential licensees. The more potential licensees, the better your chances for success. Nobody licenses to the first company they reach out to.

Rule Broken: inventRight student Leonel G. did. In fact, he licensed his product to the very first and only company he reached out to!

Rule #5: Do not pitch your product to industry giants. They are too big and don't need us. They require significant intellectual property and the deal could take potentially years to pan out.

Rule Broken: Within days of completing his sell sheet, my student Wayne A., was talking to and receiving significant interest from his product's category leader. A major company we all know and see at all of the big-box retailers.

Rule #6: Don't work on multiple ideas. You must be laser focused on one idea. It will take significant time and dedication to license your product.

Rule Broken: With an extreme attention to detail and massive amount of focus, inventRight student Brad K. licensed 4 products in just over 6 months! Talk about a home run!

At inventRight, we consistently follow the 10 steps the way our cofounders Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss outlined. Following these steps will be the appropriate strategy for the majority of you. Still, this industry is very fluid.

With years of experience in your corner, your inventRight coach can identify when and if veering off course is advisable.

Have you secretly 'gone rogue,' as we jokingly say? Have you violated an inventRight 'rule'? If so, please comment below. Whether your results were positive or a negative we can all learn from your leap of faith.

See you next month. 

With years of experience in your corner, your inventRight coach can identify when and if veering off course is advisable.
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Comments 1

Guest - Garth Patchen on Sunday, 23 June 2019 17:45

Excellent insights from true stories. Thank you.


Excellent insights from true stories. Thank you. G.P.
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