What Is An Inventor’s Agent?
Many people wrongly use the term Inventor’s Agent interchangeably with Invention Marketer or Product Developer. An Inventor’s Agent represents the total business interests of the inventor and not just the sale or development of a single invention. In fact, the inventor could be the source of several inventions in different stages of development.
A Talent Agent can be used as a good analogy to better understand the role of an Inventor’s Agent. A Talent Agent assembles and then manages a team of specialized professionals for the movie star or singing idol which can include: business attorney, accountant, vocal/acting coach, public relations person, road manager and producer. Similarly, an Inventor’s Agent coordinates the efforts of a patent attorney/agent, engineers, designers, graphic illustrators, draftsmen, marketers and contract negotiators. In both cases, the talent star or the inventor is the person making all final decisions.
In corporations, the job of the Inventor’s Agent is handled by the company’s management team. Creative ideas for new products can originate anywhere within a company but it is left to the engineering department to make the idea a reality. Products come to life around a conference room table attended by the technical staff, sales, patent counsel, accounting and management sharing thoughts that give birth to new products. It is the management team that focuses the process and keeps everyone on task.
Because of financial constraints, many individual inventors forego hiring an Inventor’s Agent taking on most, and usually all, of the jobs themselves. This can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time inventor. Some inventors will join together in clubs and such with other inventors to share their real-life experiences. This helps to a degree, but can never add hours to the day or be a substitute for the necessary specialized expertise. Just like most failed businesses are due to either a lack of a solid foundation or a lack of funding, the same problems doom most inventors.
Inventors with an invention idea that they feel could be financially successful should avoid doing everything themselves. The job is too big for any one person. Find an Inventor’s Agent that you can trust. Be willing to pay a fee plus a percentage of earnings. If it’s a good agent, the money will be well spent. Their expertise and connections will more than compensate for their fee. But most importantly, an Inventor’s Agent will be able to steer you through the maze of taking an idea through research and development, patenting and onto the market.