The Top 5 Factors that Make a Company a Good Potential Licensee

The Top 5 Factors that Make a Company a Good Potential Licensee

So many inventors begin the licensing phase of their journey and want to license their product to a company who isn’t an ideal fit for their product. Before you start to pitch your idea to a company to get your product on the shelves, make sure to remember these five things: The company is a Manufacturer! Not a Retailer or Wholesaler! You are starting out with a new idea which has not been mass produced, packaged, or marketed yet. The first step in getting your product mass produced, packaged, and on the shelves, is to start with a manufacturer. You do not want to license your product to retailers or wholesalers since they do not have the means to mass produce your product. Some retailers or wholesalers do manufacture products, but they are typically private label brands or store brands and are not actually manufactured by that company, which limits your product to just selling in that store. You want a company that can manufacture and distribute your product to a multitude of wholesalers and/or retailers. This can be done either through direct selling, retail sale, or wholesale. The company is based in the country you are protected in. Before licensing your product, you want to ensure you have adequately filed for some sort of protection over your idea. You should have at least a Provisional Application. Your protection is only good in the country you file under. You want to aim for companies that are based in the county that you are protected in. This means you want companies whose Corporate Headquarters are located in your patent’s country....
By Inventors, For Inventors | The Story of Clever Tongs

By Inventors, For Inventors | The Story of Clever Tongs

We at Enhance get to chat with people from all over the world. People who have dreams, ideas, and concepts that they are excited about and eager to get started. Frankly, we love it. We are so keyed into the excitement and high that one gets when they are in pursuit of their next big idea, as it’s a very familiar feeling to us! How do we know what that feels like? We’re inventors ourselves! As such, we like to tailor our approach to product development to highlight the best, most fun, and most meaningful aspects of the process so as to ensure that our inventor clients not only receive professional-quality, meaningful product development and design materials, but also so our clients enjoy this exciting and exhilarating creative process! In our Invention Lab, we are constantly brainstorming, and analyzing new ways that we can solve everyday problems with the hopes of identifying the next big thing, or sometimes even the next little thing that can make life a little bit easier or more enjoyable! A few years ago, I identified a potential new kitchen utensil that may alleviate the need to have both a spatula and a set of tongs in one’s kitchen drawer. I created some sketches on my own, and built a prototype with off-the-shelf parts and tried it out! Lo and behold, it worked like a charm! I presented the idea to our team and they took my idea from being a simple concept, and made it into a beautiful and elegant tool that anyone would be proud to have in their own kitchen. Each step...
Enhance Product Development Finalist For Two Housewares Global Innovation Awards

Enhance Product Development Finalist For Two Housewares Global Innovation Awards

Enhance Product Development, a Minneapolis-based design firm serving brand-name consumer product companies, start-ups and inventors alike, is turning heads in the housewares industry. Known for developing “smart solutions to real problems” on behalf of their clientele, Enhance was notified that two of its licensed products were finalists for the highly coveted IHA Global Innovation Awards. “We are both thrilled and humbled,” said Trevor Lambert, the founder and CEO of Enhance. “It is validation that our design process and methodology achieves meaningful results for our clients and licensees. In the end, that will always be our core focus.” The two products up for awards are the Skillet Slingers, a hand tool for browning ground-meats, and Exact Egg Boiler, a kitchenware solution that results in perfect hard-boiled eggs. The Skillet Slingers functions as a tool to claw, chop and grind the meat into perfect crumbles in at least half the time when compared to spatulas or wooden spoons. “During development, our slogan was, ‘claw, chop, grind…a way to brown meat, a way of life,'” said Lambert with a smile. “That may give you a window into the creative culture we have here at Enhance. That said, the product really works. After prototyping and sending them out for user feedback, nobody would give them back! That’s when we knew we were onto something special.” The Exact Egg Boiler consists of a rack that cradles eggs in place to prevent cracking during a rolling boil while simultaneously incorporating a user-friendly rinsing funnel that channels water to cool each egg evenly. It has been noted that at first glance, the product appears to be...
Learn About Design: Design for Licensing vs. Design For Manufacturing

Learn About Design: Design for Licensing vs. Design For Manufacturing

One of the most common questions we get is “What is the difference between Design for Licensing and Design for Manufacturing?” In regards to our process at in Enhance, we recommend Design for Licensing first! Design for Licensing is where we develop a concept, which can range from a napkin sketch to a redesign of an existing product. In this phase, the computer-aided model or CAD is developed for licensing purposes and does not have engineer features. The CAD is then used to make the renderings for marketing. Once the product development is completed in the design phase, it will enter the licensing phase, where it is pitched to potential licensees and manufacturers. A Design for Licensing package, would include photo-realistic images (renderings) that would show the concept as if it were a physical product, with color and material choices. Design for Manufacturing usually occurs further down the road. If a marketing deal is struck in the licensing phase, the product will move into the engineering phase where the product will be developed for manufacturing. The engineer will take the conceptual design and CAD files from the design phase and continue to refine them for mass production. Example of Design for Manufacturing would be adjusting tolerances, draft angles, and fasteners. The Design for Licensing route is a much more cost-effective way to bring the concept to life.  It can show how the product would possibly function without going into a huge amount detail regarding the  ins-and-outs of the product. Terms: CAD– Computer-Aided Design Molds– Use a male and female housing to receptivity create production-ready parts Renderings– a work of...

ABC Kids Show 2015 – Trade Shows- Why and How?

By Andy Ulseth Last week, Alex Paquin (Enhance’s Director of Business Development) and I attended the 2015 ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. As always, it was incredibly exciting and humbling to be in the presence of such innovative and striking ideas. We often get asked how we utilize our time and space at Trade Shows to ensure that we are making the most of the experience. Our process is carefully thought out, and planned ahead of time. When Alex and I attend trade shows, we don’t set up a booth or stand in one place for very long, as we like to move around and engage both exhibitors and vendors. This allows us to cover as much ground as possible and have more productive conversations than we would if we were to stand idle for the entirety of the show. Utilizing the eye-catching sell sheets designed by our team of top industrial designers, we are able to have significant and thoughtful conversations with product managers, art directors, and decision makers from hundreds of industry leading manufacturers. It is among the greatest joys of our job to introduce a potential licensee to an idea that was hatched by a client, developed in our studio, pitched by our licensing department, and to see the person’s eyes light up when they realize what the product is, how it works, and what it does. While most licensing deals are not struck at trade shows, they do provide us with an excellent foundation for relationship building and for brand awareness as we continue to push boundaries and make Enhance go-to the name...

Licensing Your Invention Idea

As a product developer or inventor, there are two ways to get your product to market: licensing or manufacture and sell it yourself. Manufacturing and selling it yourself is pretty self explanatory, but licensing has multiple meanings and often confuses people. What is licensing? By definition, the verb license means to grant permission. What does licensing have to do with inventors? An inventor can license out their patent and give another company permission to manufacture and sell it. Licensing can either be used in conjunction with manufacturing and selling your product yourself, or as an alternative for inventors that don’t want to manufacture their own product. Another way that licensing is sometimes applicable for inventors and product developers, is licensing trademarked logos and names. For example, let’s say you have a product that baseball fans love and you want to put the New York Yankees logo on it, you would have to license the logo from the Yankees. As you can see, licensing intellectual property is nothing like getting a driver’s license or marriage license that involves a government application and fee. Anyone with intellectual property rights can license it out to any other party that is willing. How do inventors get licensing deals?  Enhance Product Development can assist inventors and product developers with finding potential companies to license their product and negotiate all the details of the licensing deal. Contact us today to discuss your idea and how we can help. As for putting the Yankees logo on your product, you would have to contact the Yankees to discuss a licensing deal with them. Same with any copyrighted or trademarked logo, name,...