contacting a company for licensing...

I have been developing a product over the last couple of years and I think I am about ready to try and see if a company would be interested in it. So far I have a patent, some early prototypes and renderings, concept packaging ideas, I have received quotes from some manufacturers on mold and unit prices, and am working on a business plan. I sometimes think about producing it myself except that I have no money for the tooling or start up costs. I also know I could try to find an investor, and that might be a possibility, but I am not sure I am ready to be entrepreneur. I really want to get my product into the marketplace though and am hoping someone has some advice or personal experience. I would appreciate any help you guys have.

So what do think is the best way to contact a company in order to try and get your product licensed? Is it good to email a few companies that I think would be a good fit for my product and tell them about the idea and show them renderings or is a phone call better? I could also show them the patent on my product or give them the patent number but I am not sure that if it would be wise to disclose everything in an email or through a phone conversation? I just want to make a good impression and see if they would be interested in discussing it further in person. Lastly, who is the best person in a company to contact (owner, designer, manager, etc.)?

Thank you

I’d recommend buying a book on the subject. I bought this one:

…and it has a lot of useful information about the nuts and bolts of contacting companies, negotiation, non-disclosure agreements etc etc. It is kind of aimed at the average shmoe rather than engineers or designers though, so there may be more relevant ones out there.

What I can remember from it was that a phone call is best if you can manage to get in contact with someone senior. Avoid middle management and poeple further down the ladder as they usually only have the power to say no, not yes.
Another point was not to worry too much about having your ideas stolen, because it’s simply bad for business for them to do so. If they say no to you, planning to use it anyway, you’ll take the idea to their competitors and they’ll lose any advantage they might have had. Agreeing to pay you a royalty (usually 5-10% if i remember rightly) allows them to keep the idea to themselves and capitalise on it.

On second thoughts this one looks a hell of a lot better, I may need to pick it up:

Thanks Ron. I’ll definitely look into getting these books. :smiley: