Funding 101

If you have an invention, hopefully you or your company have the financial resources to secure protective rights through a patent application. As previously discussed, PatentFiler is a great, cost-effective, way to secure an early filing date through a provisional patent application, especially if you need more time to gather the necessary financial resources. See our current fee schedule to get an idea of the costs associated with a non-provisional patent application. For those who need outside help to finance their patent, we’ve come up with a list of seven potential funding sources:

1. Investors are good sources of funding in the early stages of development. They may desire some control of your businesses operations.

2. Large commercial institutions may be a viable source of funding if your invention has immediate market potential. Such entities are often willing to forego upfront equity in exchange for performance-based warrants. It’s best to conduct internet research to find a large company which sells products similar to your invention.

3. Venture capitalists can be valuable funding sources for products in late development stages. While this is a well-publicized source of funding, it is one of the least available due to the lengthy, restrictive, and intense winnowing process. Such investors are looking for management expertise and industry experience in addition to an invention.

4. Financial grants are an excellent option for inventions involving academic collaboration.

5. Licensees usually pay an upfront licensing fee to help underwrite patent preparation costs in exchange for limited rights to commercially use your invention.

6. Banks & Government are the biggest source of capital for small businesses. The Small Business Administration’s Innovation Research Program provides grants
to small businesses engaged in innovation with a potential for commercialization.

7. Crowdfunding sites such as KickstarterCrowdfunder and CrowdPatent join Investors and entrepreneurs.  Crowdpatent, where funders finance patent applications in exchange for shares of the invention, is geared specifically toward inventors and the patent process.