How do I find someone to buy/license my patent for silent velcro?
December 18, 2009 2:01 PM   Subscribe

How do I find someone to buy/license my patent for silent velcro?

I know this sounds like a joke, but I have an idea for a new type of "velcro" which is completely silent (also more durable and less bulky than regular velcro). I don't want to manufacture it myself. How do I find someone to sell or license it to?

Thank you!
posted by HLS to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
PS: I know that step #1 is to patent the idea. I am wondering what to do after that. I don't want to go through the expense of patenting it if I don't have an exit strategy.
posted by HLS at 2:02 PM on December 18, 2009

This product is mentioned in the movie "Garden State", just as an FYI.
posted by soelo at 2:02 PM on December 18, 2009

Assuming you're serious, you may have duplicated an existing product.

They also had a silent version of velcro developed for use with Army soldier uniforms, as the ripping sound could betray a soldier's position. A new version was created which reduced the noise by over 95%. The manufacturing process to create this noiseless velcro is, however, a military secret.
posted by anti social order at 2:47 PM on December 18, 2009

Silent velcro also won a popsci invention award.

It took its inventor 8 years and 40k, but the popsci article notes two of his strategies for success:

He won a NASA sponsored "Create the Future" competition
He got his material sold (or licensed?) through Material Connexion
posted by pseudonick at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2009

And, by your past posting history, you seem to be doing a joint degree at Harvard Law and the B school, so, you know, there might be people there who know about this stuff.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:59 PM on December 18, 2009

There can be more than one way to achieve the same result, fellow posters, and if that's the case, then the resultant product should be patentable.

HLS, I'd seek a patent attorney's counsel on this one.
posted by inturnaround at 3:19 PM on December 18, 2009

I am not the OP's attorney, and this is not legal advice. Even if you do obtain a patent (which, in the United States, would be at least three years from now), that's only one small piece of the puzzle. Commercializing your invention is vastly harder. A patent attorney may have some ideas in this regard, but as I'm sure you can find from just Googling around, individual inventors have a very hard time of things. One law firm's website explains:
Of the many individual inventors that our attorneys have served over the years, only a handful have ever made enough money from their inventions even to cover what we charged them. This does not mean the inventions were not good ones - indeed we have seen some very clever and promising inventions from individual inventor clients, and we have obtained some patents for individual inventors of which we are very proud from a professional point of view. There is much in life, however, that depends on luck and being in the right place at the right time, with inventions as with anything else. For every deserving invention that makes money for its inventor, there are probably ninety-nine other very deserving inventions that happen not to fulfill their promise.
I suggest you read that whole page - it's quite sobering.

If you are indeed at Harvard, you might try checking out the Harvard Technology Transfer Office's website. While these departments usually work with faculty, there may be someone there who might be able to talk to you. You can also get a sense of the massive effort that Harvard (an institution with peerless prestige and a still-enormous endowment) puts in to developing and licensing the patents that its faculty comes up with. It ain't easy.

And if you are at HBS, this looks like a good course for you. Or maybe see if the prof will just chat with you.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:22 AM on December 19, 2009

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