The Complete Idiot's Guide to
Cashing in On Your Inventions
by Richard C. Levy
September 28, 2001
How This Book Is Organized
I have designed this book to be a quick-access resource companion to accompany you throughout your journey from "What if?" to the deal and, hopefully, to riches (though financial reward must not be the only thing that drives you).
The sequence is a step-by-step blueprint for overcoming your fears, building your confidence, taking pride in your ideas, adapting to change, taking risks, and taking control.
Part 1 - How to Get Your Great Ideas on the Road shares America's greatest traditions and visions as a center of innovation and free enterprise, home to the world's most prolific, daring, and successful inventors and entrepreneurs. Through all the wit, color, and homespun truth I could muster, it asks you to look at yourself and realize that on any given day your dream can come true. But for this to happen, you must have the "Dare to Go," know where to go, and what to do when you get there.
The most important part of this book appears in Part 1. It instructs you in how avoid being ripped-off by carrion birds who toil under the guise of reputable invention marketing services. Part 1 helps you analyze whether it's better to license your invention or seek "adventure capital" and build a business.
By the time you finish reading Part 1, if I have done my job well, you will have started to highlight parts of these pages with a yellow marker.
Part 2 - Getting High Marks assumes you have opted to go the licensing route. If, however, you want to establish your own manufacturing and marketing operation, then take four giant steps to Part 3.
Part 2 explains how to find the right company for your invention, get through the door, pitch the idea, and make a deal if you are fortunate enough to be afforded an opportunity. It's all about the hunt!
Part 3 - Goin' for the Gold takes you to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Learn what makes it tick and how you can take advantage of its invaluable services. You'll also learn ways to conduct a search for prior art.
It wraps on a very important issue-how to hire competent patent counsel.
Part 4 - Uncle Sam Wants (to Help) You! explains the different kinds of IP protection -- e.g., utility patent, plant patent, design patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret. The information is designed as a primer, not to take the place of a patent counsel. The final chapter in Part 4 takes you behind the scenes at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a look at how your application will be handled.
Part 5 - People Who Share, People Who Dare Uncle Sam has gone from being a principal customer of technology to wanting to share its technologies with private industry and build partnerships. There is a smorgasbord of delicious opportunities for you, and Chapter 19 is the appetizer. Chapter 20 gives you a primer on the toy industry, one of the last great frontiers for the entrepreneurial inventor.
While I can do nothing to alleviate patent fees, I can help reduce your legal expenses. To that end, I have provided a confidential nondisclosure form and a licensing agreement that you can use as templates for your own transactions, potentially saving your lawyer hours of work and you thousands of dollars.