Licensing Intellectual Property / Inventions

Everyone gets a great idea from time to time. More often than not we just say "hey wouldn't that be great" and go on with our day. Why don't more people follow through with the great ideas they have? It could be that they think it will be more trouble than its worth, that they don't have the resources to do it, or quite simply that they don't know where to start.

The reality is that every great idea has the potential to become a valuable asset. In fact protecting and developing your ideas can be a very inexpensive process that requires little to no technical knowledge. Most people think that to bring their ideas to life they need to spend thousands of dollars on a patent and build complex working prototypes. This is simply not the case.

The first step to developing and profiting from your ideas is to study the existing marketplace. Go to the local store that sells products similar to the one you have in mind. If it cannot be bought in a store check online. Pay close attention to the types of materials these products are made of. The features they have, the prices they sell for, and the benefits each of them offer. Knowing what products yours will be compared to will help you pin point exactly what makes your product better, and may even give you some ideas to add.

Next you will want to start on some type of visual representation of your idea. This can be as complex as a fully functional prototype or as simple as a sketch or drawing. If you can't make a fully functional prototype try to make a clay, Styrofoam, or cardboard representation. You can also get inexpensive 3d computer renderings of your idea done by local college students. If you have the technical knowhow go ahead and combine these ideas into a distributable DVD or promotional pamphlet.

You will need to create what the industry calls a "sell sheet" a sell sheet is basicly the resume of your idea to be submitted to manufactures who would likely produce your product. Like a resume, the sell sheet should begin with a statement of intent. or a "Benefit Statement" this is where you will put the info you found out at the store. answer the question "what makes your product better than existing products." Next you will want to include any graphic renderings, pictures, or descriptions of the product that you think the manufacture will be sold on. Finally, all current contact information so that they can get back to you after they have become convinced.

Before you start telling people about your product you will defiantly want to get some protection. A cheap and easy way to secure your idea is to file a PPA or Provisional Patent Application. You can file one of these yourself without any complex knowledge of patent laws this can be done online for around $100 dollars. (Check out LegalZoom.com) You will want to include some pictures of your models or any drawing of the idea. The PPA will give you the right to say "patent pending" effectively protecting your idea for 12 months.

Now its time to contact some manufactures who would likely sell your product. Be sure to use the phone and get permission to send your sell sheet by fax, email, or snail mail. Manufactures will not look at sell sheets sent without permission, to them its just junk mail. When you make the call ask to speak to the person who handles new product idea submissions. If their not available ask for their name and contact information. When you do finally get to talk to someone confidently spout off the benefit statement from your sell sheet. The idea here is to peak their interest and inquire about more information. Regardless of their enthusiasm ask politely if you may fax or e-mail more information to them. If they agree you have successfully gotten your foot in the door!

If you want to start patenting and licensing your ideas today. You really should also read Patent It Yourself or Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks for Dummies. These books will give you even more tips and tricks to help you on your way. Just click on the links to get yourself a copy!

Patent It Yourself

Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks for Dummies

HINT: Don't get discouraged when the first manufacturer turns you down. What do we do when we fall off the horse?

HINT: If you want you can contract a third party make your prototype just make sure you get them to sign a "work made for hire" agreement. This document will insure that they cannot claim any ownership on the final design of the product. You will also want to make sure the document includes some wordage to the effect that any improvements made by the contractor shall be considered owned by you.

Bum Marketing (Affiliate Marketing)

"Bum Marketing" is a great way to build up a small army of internet based assets for little or no money. The method is really quite simple.

1. Just pick a product or service you would be willing to write a review or article about.

2. Start a blog and post the article.

3. Sign up for affiliate marketing programs specifically related to the product or service you choose.

4. Populate the blog with affiliate links to the product.

5. Add your article in popular article website directories. (http://www.iArticles.biz for example)

6. Submit your site to search engines and join link exchange programs to boost your Google ranking.

7. If people click on the links and purchase the product you get paid!

Sounds simple huh? Well it can be if you know what your doing. Sadly most people jump in before they fully understand the concept. Heres what you need to know to avoid being one of these people.

Pitfalls to Avoid

- Not selecting a small enough market. If you want to be successful in bum marketing you need to be sure that your product choices are unique and specific in nature. Don't write an article on healthy cleaning products. Instead write it specifically about healthy floor cleaners. Being specific targets the type of individual who is on a mission to buy a product, the type you want to see.

- Using general highly completive keywords. "Floor cleaner" is not a good keyword. It is to general and will return way to many results for your little article to compete. Try "buy healthy hardwood cleaner" or "buy environmentally friendly tile cleaner." These keywords are only likely to produce the type of person who not only wants the information your article has to provide, but is also likely to purchase.

HINT: Reinvest a percentage of your profits into pay-per-click advertising to boost your traffic. Be sure to use the same specific keywords we talked about before.

HINT: Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Why stop with one stream of income when you could have 10 or 20.

HINT: If an article is doing well give it a domain name. Giving your article a domain name will make it easer for people to remember and provide a sense of credibility. Additionally several affiliate marketing programs require their adds be places on a site with a domain name such as .com or .net.

Buying Domains To Sell At Auction

Domain names can be inexpensive high yeild assets. This is because you can potentially purchase a domain for around $10 and sell it for hundreds, thousands, even millions. Now theres no guarentee you will sell your domain or get the price you think its worth. The fact is that many domains have little or no value. There are a few things we can do to increase the chances of getting high offers.

The first thing we need to do is find the domain we want and buy it. You can check to see if the domain is already owned at whois.com. If its not owned by anyone go ahead and register the domain. There are several places to register your domain. It really doesent matter where you go, however make sure you dont pay more than $10 a year. If your really (really) straped for cash you can also get a free domain from the link provided under the "Helpful Resources" tab on this site. (They requires a real e-mail address, a phone number you have access to, and 20 min. of time for a quick survey.) If your domain is already owned you can try to buy it from the owner. Go to Afternic.com and make an offer on the site. If the owner accepts the registration info will be transfered.

Once you have the domain its a good idea to monitize it. Create a relevent blog with adsense and redirect your domain to it. Take the extra effort to submit the site to search engines and add links to relevant directories. (you can also join free link exchange programs to boost your google ranking.) All of this will help increase traffic and create a higher appraised value of the domain.

Make sure to put a link to your e-mail box that says "Make an offer on this site" that way you can see what others are potentially willing to pay for the site. you can also submit the site to

Tax Deed Sales

Property owners in the U.S. are required to pay taxes on their land. If they don't pay, the government tries to recoup their lost income by offering the property for sale at an auction. The property is typically sold for the back tax amount plus any fees. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can potentially get these properties for cents on the dollar.

Tax deed sales are similar to foreclosure sales. The law requires that tax deed sales are announced to the public. They and are usually sold to the highest bidder. Because government leans are superior, you receive the property clear of any mortgages or liens. This is one of the best things about tax deed sales.

To get started, you need to choose the county or counties you want to work in. To find the dates and times for these sales you will typically need to contact the county office that handles tax deed sales. In most counties this information is available online and updated frequently. First try the clerk of court or the county comptroller websites. Depending on the county, these sites will contain various information about the property. The most important pieces of info to note is the Parcel ID number.

You should also become familiar with the county property appraiser website. Use Google.com to find it. From the property appraiser site you should be able to search by the Parcel ID and find a rough estimate of the value of the property. This site will also tell you about the zoning and any improvements on the property.

If it all looks gravy, drive on out to the property and take a look. You may also want to take a look at Zillow.com to see what the property values in the area are. Based on what you see you should have a good idea of what you want to do. Figure out how much you are willing to pay (or can afford) and show up at the auction to bid on your property.

HINT: Don't get to excited about a property early in the month. Owners usually have all the way up to the auction date to redeem their back taxes. If you get excited to soon you will be disappointed when it gets redeemed. try to put most of your efforts in closer to the auction date.

HINT: Stay away from larger or faster developing counties. These more popular counties attract institutional investor who will drive the prices up to near market value. In larger counties it becomes difficult to compete and get good deals.

HINT: Most counties also offer "lands available" these are properties that did not sell at auction. These properties are sold on a first come first serve basis for the tax amount owed. They typically have little or no appraised value, however to the creative investor they can be a gold mine. Most are seemingly useless land locked parcels or small lots next to the interstate. One way to utilize these parcels is roadside advertising (billboards). However, make sure you are familiar with zoning rules, hight regulations, or other restrictive factors.


Definition of an asset

Assets are, to put it in the simplest terms, anything at all that puts money into your pocket. This of course as opposed to taking money out of your pocket. Assets are antonyms for liabilities. A liability is anything that cost you. Businesses and financially savvy individuals try very hard to limit their liabilities and maximize their assets. This is how much of the worlds wealth is accumulated, by building up a strong portfolio of assets, or vehicles for financial growth. There are many types of assets. Some assets can be bought, others must be created. Some of the most common types of assets are stocks, bonds, and mortgage notes.