I received a letter
Worth 0.008p according to statistics!
from the UK patent office (UKIPO) yesterday which included a nice certificate saying that I’d been granted a patent covering an idea for a small tool I had.
Champagne? I don’t mind if I do!
Of course 97% of patents don’t make any money and I’m already down the cost of a bottle of champagne! But in a way I never did it for the money, of course I might change my tune if Stanley Tools are interested in licencing the tool and go on to sell millions (NOTE: not very likely!).
For me it was about seeing if I could do it. Everyone says applying for a patent requires hiring lots of expensive professionals, but I am a terrible bore for wanting to do everything myself. Mostly because I am tight and just a little bit jealous/indignant about the lifestyle most highly paid professionals have when compared to the really important folk, like sewerage workers etc. Call it a working class chip on my shoulder!
But seriously, I had the time. When I applied I was a house husband in NZ with a few hours a day to call my very own so why not have a go myself? After all, there was never likely to be any financial justification for spending more than a few bucks on the project. But now, three and a half years on and with an actual patent in my name, what next?
Well, this time I’m going against my usual nature and am thinking about the possibly of licencing the tool to an existing company to make and distribute. Even though I’d be lucky to keep 5%. But first there is a tiny stumbling block in my head.
Let me explain. The patent is a win. I mean, I had an reasonably original thought, managed to convey it to a bunch of much cleverer folk than me and have been rewarded with a shiny patent certificate. Soooo tempting to stop right there. I mean I’m officially an ‘inventor’, Whoo hoo! But am I? Does holding one patent make an inventor or was it just beginners luck, a fluke. Oh God, I have got to get this thing made haven’t I? Otherwise a patent without an actual product is as they say, not worth the paper it’s written on. Shoot.
That means having to ‘put myself out there’. Gulp, what if everyone thinks the idea is crap? What if no-one wants to make it for me? Cool, back to doing nothing, just keep the certificate and dust the frame from time to time. Patent = win, right?
No, your right, probably not. Damn, better re-read Stephen Keys inspirational book ‘One Simple Idea‘ and find some companies looking to licence new products…
Hope that 2012 has been kind to you and I wish you a 2013 filled with promise and fun!