In many ways now is the easiest time ever for an individual or small company to bring a product to market. A route to market could be using crowdfunding to raise finance, then using online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay to reach a national or international market at low cost or perhaps using licensing to generate revenue from larger companies with established marketing and sales channels.
While the internet creates major sales opportunities it can also make a successful product easily visible and possibly vulnerable to the threat of copying.
These developments do however mean that companies and individuals have to work in a quick and agile way and use the most appropriate intellectual property tools to protect their innovation. While the internet creates major sales opportunities it can also make a successful product easily visible and possibly vulnerable to the threat of copying.
Depending on the individual product the best approach may involve using Intellectual Property tools including copyright, design registration, trademarking and patenting. Deciding which IP tool is best will depend on the nature of the product, what market sector it is aimed at and the length of the likely product life cycle. This will vary greatly from fast moving consumer products which can be made and sold in large quantities but do not require a lot of capital investment to more complex engineering or medical products which will require new tooling, materials and manufacturing equipment.
Invest Northern Ireland is hosting a Licensing Masterclass by world renowned entrepreneurial inventor Stephen Key on how to sell your ideas with or without a patent, on Tuesday 10 May, Crumlin Road Gaol. Find out more information about the Licensing Masterclass.