Yesterday I had a call with a team of inventors interested in selling their invention to us. We didn't have a NDA in place so the conversation proceeded in generalities. I wanted a concrete example and asked, "What existing product is similar to your invention? Don't tell me any details about YOUR invention. I don't want to know. Just give me an example of an existing product that's already being sold." "I'm afraid to disclose anything," the inventors answered. "Even the name of a product I can buy today at Wal-Mart?" I asked. Yes, was the answer.

I ended the conversation. Over 30 years I've learned that fearful inventors take up a lot of time and never close a deal.

There's no reason for an inventor to hesitate in giving the name of a product that's already for sale as a reference point. By definition, such a product is already in the public domain and would be excluded from coverage by any NDA.

Don't be ruled by fear. Feel free to talk about your invention in general terms. You'll learn a lot, get more opportunities and increase your odds of success.

Learn more here: The Disclosure Dilemma.

- Mike Marks

#inventions #patents #inventor #inventors #licensing #NDA #confidentiality

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