Ah, the elusive G8 badge…it’s a tricky devil, but once you’ve got it – you join an elite group – Licensed Inventors.
In past posts, we’ve taken you through our eight-stage evaluation process.
We’ve shared with you want happens at each stage:
But what happens next? What happens when a partner selects YOUR idea for a licensing deal and signs on the dotted line? What happens in life after that G8?
Please allow us to share the process…
When a deal has been finalized between a licensing partner and Edison Nation on an innovator’s behalf, the first step is a phone call.
Once the ink is dry on the contract, we’ll reach out to you to set up time to update you via phone. The Edison Nation team will call you and give you the great news that your idea has been licensed. We’ll give you details about the partner, discuss the deal and give you a timeline for what to expect next.
Following the phone call, you’ll receive an email outlining the details discussed during on the phone, as well as introductions to other folks who’ll be communicating with you as a licensed inventor – the Communications and Accounting teams. You’ll be asked to formally sign the innovator agreement you electronically signed upon submitting your idea for our files and complete the applicable tax forms.
Following these initial phone and email communications, you’ll be receiving updates as they are available from the partner via your point of contact on the EN Communications team. Frequency of these updates are dependent on a number of factors including:
- How much development is required for the concept
- What, if any, intellectual property is already filed for the idea
- The product manufacturing timeline for the partner and where this item falls within their product release schedule
- Testing if required
- …and more.
The Edison Nation licensing team is in regular contact with licensing partners to ensure that the product stays on track (there is typically an 18-24 month window to bring the product to market). Remember, as the split is 50/50, neither Edison Nation or the Innovator will receive royalties until the product is being sold, so it is ALWAYS in our best interest to stay in touch.
SIDEBAR: Edison Nation does NOT allow a partner to license an idea and never produce it. As outlined above, if a product is never produced, no one is earning. We want to see ideas commercialized. While we’ll work with a partner who may be experiencing timing delays due to unforeseen circumstances, we WILL terminate a license if the product is not released.
As the product gets closer to commercialization – samples are created, product packaging is finalized, etc., we’ll share as much information (and imagery, where applicable) as we can with you. Any updates shared are confidential until the product hits store shelves.
Once we have a release date for the product, we’ll reach out to the licensing partner to get any marketing plans they have prior to launch. We’ll also reach out to you as the licensed inventor to get more information from you to provide an product update on the site.
When the product hits store shelves, we’ll share the news in Room 5, on the blog and through our social channels to share the journey, promote the product and close the loop on your story within our community.
From a business standpoint, once the product is being sold, updates will come from our Accounting team who provides you with royalty reports per the terms of your innovator agreement. Of course, you’re always welcome to reach out to the Communications team with any questions.
There is also the other side of the story…
Where, for one reason or another, a licensed product does not make it to market. This can be caused by a number of factors including: unforeseen engineering/manufacturing challenges, lake of buyer response and more. Know that, in these instances, we do have protections built into our standard agreements that allow for EN to pull the license back and explore other opportunities if possible. While it is never the outcome we hope for, it is an unfortunate reality and something you should be aware of.
You’ll often hear us say that inventing is a marathon, not a sprint.
The process outlined above can take six months or it can take years. While we prefer the former, it is the reality of the business and what we CAN guarantee is that you’ll know all the information we know as we receive it.
We hope that this post provided some additional insight into the licensing process and we hope to be sharing some new success stories very, very soon!