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How to use your invention to make money

(NC) We’ve all dreamed of having a brilliant lightbulb eureka moment, where we come up with a great idea for a successful product or service and become rich. While in reality it may not be as simple as that, it is still possible to create something and make money out of it.

You can start with developing a new brand, technology or original design. Then, you need to protect these intellectual property (IP) assets by registering your trademarkor industrial design, or getting your patent granted.  If you protect them, they can give your business a competitive advantage over other players in the market. Your IP assets have the potential to make you a great deal of money.

The process for turning your IP rights into money is called commercialization. Three ways to go about this are through assignment, licensing or franchising. With an assignment, you transfer your rights to your IP by giving up ownership to a buyer. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a quick and simple way to make money from your IP, but it can be difficult finding a reliable valuation (price) and is generally less profitable than other alternatives.

With licensing, you partner up with another organization and license your IP to them. You’ll get royalties and retain ownership of your assets. However, the other party takes control of commercialization and retains most of the profit.

With franchising, you enter into an agreement with an individual or group, the franchisee. You grant the franchisee use of your IP and proven business model in exchange for an agreed fee. You’ll need to provide your franchisee with ongoing support, but this path is overall a low cost and low risk way of commercializing your IP. 

To transform your innovations and creations into commercially viable products or services, you first need to learn how to manage, protect and leverage your IP. To get started, you can use the helpful resources, tools, services and information available at canada.ca/ip-for-business.



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