After your invention is designed, created and marketed, orders will begin to come in, and it can be difficult for individuals without the means to manufacture their ideas in mass quantities to keep up. As an alternative to running their own business, many inventors choose to license the idea to a company. Licensing your invention idea means that another company will manufacture and sell the invention, and you will still earn profit from each sale. Inventors often choose to approach companies about their product ideas through a letter of intent.
Research companies within your invention's market sector that are potential clients. Create a detailed list that outlines all the information you may need to refer to in your letter. Include similar inventions, important contact names and information, mailing addresses, email addresses and the company's business sectors. Know the business of the clients you are approaching well so that you will be able to pen a letter genuinely stating how your product fits into their line of products. Consult the company's annual reports if they are a public corporation. Call the company's Human Resources department to determine which employee is the proper contact for accepting new licensing requests.
Type a template for your letter of intent. Format it like a professional business letter (see Resources), and include sections explaining the main purpose of your invention, its similarity to other products and the niche it fills in a market. Explain what stage of the patenting process you are currently in, such as filing or completed filing, and mention which law firm is representing you in this matter. Finish your letter outlining your direct contact information, and include a statement about your desired outcome of sending this letter. This may include a phone call or meeting to discuss licensing options.
Review the letter with a patent attorney to ensure that you did not reveal too much information about your invention, which may lead to your intellectual property being stolen.
Fill in the information in the letter template you created in Step 2 for each company on the list you created in Step 1. Create a separate letter for each company. Type each letter, and print on your personal letterhead. Sign each letter individually in ink.
Mail your letter to the respective representatives at each corporation with a brochure about your invention if you have one.
Bailey Richert is a 2010 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and hydrogeology, as well as a master's degree in systems engineering. After several years in the environmental consulting industry, she is now attending MIT for graduate school. An accomplished traveler, she has visited 23 countries and published her first book about international travel in 2014.