How To Turn Invention Rejection Into A Licensing Deal

Show them the money... or the customers. And always be polite. We recently did a review for an inventor with an idea we thought was cool but we weren't sure about the market and there was prior art all around it. So we said no. He accepted the no gracefully, thanked us and then...

The inventor posted a video of himself with his prototype to an interest group on Facebook. Within an hour he got 240 likes and loves, half a dozen gifs of money being thrown at him and ten comments from people saying they'd buy it. He messaged and emailed me. I looked at the page, saw the activity, thought "WOW," told him to take take the page down to protect himself and...

Offered him a deal.

We say no to inventors 99% of the time (with feedback if they pay, or without feedback if they don't). Sometimes inventors become angry and abusive when we say no. They feel that spending $95 with us for feedback entitles them to a "yes" where we might spend years and $100,000++ in attempting to commercialize their invention. We're always polite, no matter how much abuse is thrown. But we will NEVER work with a disrespectful inventor, no matter what their invention is, no matter how many Facebook likes their invention gets.

We also license inventions ourselves and have had the same experience going the other way. Last year we pitched a cooking product to a wonderful company. They proceeded to test it in a way that guaranteed it would fail. When they said no because it failed the test, we thanked them, carefully pointed out that failure was baked into their method of testing and left the door open to come back another day.

- Mike Marks

share this article: facebook