Patent Licensing and Patent Sales Go Hollywood!

POSTED BY John Cronin AT 11:58 A.M. Oct 5, 2018

For many years, those working at licensing and patent sales for hundreds of buyers and sellers have always realized that “telling the story” was essential. An industry standard, if not the industry standard, was a 2-pager flyer with sections on Business, Market, Technology, Valuation, and Claims Charting, etc. to create interest and then leads. Buyers or licensees had their own information requirements, but it always came down to the overlap of interest and good patents. New in the industry is a video of the IP to be sold or licensed. Seems like most people will open a 3-4 minute video but will not read a 2 page or longer package to get interest. But what is the formula for the marketing video: actors, sets, music; what do IP brokers now have to do?

Here are some keys. First, is to, “Showoff Your Personality.” Whatever it is being producing, be honest about the capabilities and the skills required to make a video and who should do the video. Watchers love to learn about the personalities of IP owners, and their brand, by getting a glimpse behind the curtain. If the IP is about a prototype, footage of the product is key. If the prowess of the inventor is available, background history is important. There are many things that could trigger a call or meeting, but almost always the inventor’s story will break the ice and boost credibility once personality is added to the video.

Next, “Explain what the IP is about.” It is important to consider the audience for the video: the buyer could be a VP of Engineering, a company attorney, the CEO. etc. It is important to cover the multiple points of views of the audience. Care should be taken to send the video to the points of view the video is made for. There could be multiple videos for multiple points of view. And beware, it is surprisingly easy for someone who knows their IP better than anyone else to make the error of assuming the viewer can figure out the invention and IP. It may be helpful in any video to err on the side of over-explaining. Use video annotations to point out key areas for the viewers to understand.

Next is to “Add the value of the IP to the Buyer; why would they want the IP?“. Not everyone will want to view a video unless it is short, but the ones that will view the short video will share more quickly and in a more pleasing way, the value of the IP to the buyer, and this may be the one reason they will move to more diligence for a potential deal. So, having a powerful intro story that is then followed up in more detail is the secret to success. A script might – or should – take dozens of rewrites until it’s right.

Finally, “Tell a great IP story.” The video is a story. Yes, there need to be facts, but consider a high-level understanding about the inception of the invention(s). What drove the inventor to invent, what was the work it took to get the invention through the process, what were the effort of the patent counsels, how will the market value the invention, and how are the claims strong? All of these should be presented in a non-threatening way.

Last note, there are many companies that can create a 2-4 minute video for $4-5K, or even less. But, remember telling a great IP story is key. Yes, make videos of the inventor / owner, buy stock video and audio snippets, produce snappy graphics, but it is vital to find a director who is talented and has experience in helping IP deals. IP brokers, welcome to Hollywood!