You can’t talk about our current way of living and working without thinking about tech innovations. And, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll reach the topic of Intellectual Property (IP) and the visionaries who made our world possible.
However, our world would look completely different without the IP protection system put together by developed countries interested in developing global markets. In fact, even with those protections in place, IP theft costs the US $225 billion to $600 billion annually.
So clearly, there’s a lot of money to be made out of good IP. This means that, if you own a patent (or several), you have a good chance of making a profit. But how do you do that and are things different if you are in Canada?
We are going to discuss the top three methods patent-owners can use to turn their ideas into gold and we’ll also mention the specifics of doing so in Canada.
1. Start a Business
(If you haven’t already)
The best way to make money off your patent is to turn it into a reality by creating and selling the product you invented. Of course, not all inventions lead to a finite product you can sell, but if yours fits the bill, you may want to try and make it yourself.
However, since a patent application in Canada will have you check if the concept you want to register is viable under the rules and regulations of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), it’s safe to assume you have an idea that can be applied into practice.
Plus, many inventors take the path of entrepreneurship. Even more, most successful startups either attract reliable investors or are bought by bigger companies. So, as long as you manage to go through the initial phase and have an interesting product, there are various paths that will help you make money.
2. License the Patent
Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and that’s OK. Patents can also be licensed, meaning you transfer the rights of use to a party willing to implement your idea into a viable product or service.
There are two types of licenses (exclusive and non-exclusive), so make sure you understand what each entails before you agree with anything. However, if you’re not interested in starting a business or using the patent yourself, licensing is a great way to get paid.
Plus, you’ll have a chance to see your idea in action and this is an amazing experience!
3. Sell Off Your Rights
Licensing is a bit complicated and requires a bit of mental effort on your part. It may also require the assistance of a legal advisor, which, in the end, will come out of your share of the deal.
So if you’re not interested in licensing and you want to profit from your patent while there is still interest in it, you can sell off your rights. However, keep in mind that this step is irreversible – once sold, the patent doesn’t belong to you anymore.
The best way to know if this is the right step is to try and envision your patient’s progress in five-years time. Do you see any major innovations that could bring bigger profits and can be supported by your current financial means? Will you need help from investors? Are you willing to go through all the trouble to make your vision a reality?
Overall, the best way to profit from a patent (in Canada or anywhere else) is to either use it yourself, license it, or sell it off. Nowadays, technology can help authors and artists protect their works as NFTs but the market is still forming, so it’s rather difficult to tell if everyone can benefit from this method. Plus, patent owners can’t really use the technology to protect their investments.