Are you concerned that a company you want to license to might instead steal your idea and rip you off? It seems like a legitimate concern. We don’t possess the power of a corporate name, or one hundred employees and a legal team – we’re usually just passionate individuals. But you must realize there are a lot of practical reasons why you’re not facing Goliath, and you aren’t David. Getting ripped off shouldn’t prevent you from showing your idea to companies. Here’s why it just doesn’t happen that often.
Companies don’t want to incur the liability and financial damages of ripping you off, if you can indeed prove that they did so. So take record of every interaction. Conduct business through e-mail and in the written word.
You have the press on your side – companies don’t want to incur the damage to their reputations, if you prove that they ripped you off. What company wants a news story about how they stole from an independent inventor? No one. Public opinion is often directly tied to sales. This is a legitimate fear for large corporations, who constantly fight accusations of manipulation, exploitation, etc.
However, I strongly recommend that you do everything in your power to NOT go to court. I know from experience that court cases can and usually are extremely expensive and lengthy – I was incredibly trained after my case finally finished. There are ways to receive financial compensation without going to court, if you do feel you’ve been wronged. Please, explore all these options before going to court.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.