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Innovation, in Latent Patents, Brick by Brick

by: David Nickelson, Director of Research

On a previous business trip I had the good fortune to sit beside a man traveling with his wife. After exchanging the usual pleasantries he asked me what I did and when I told him I worked in the patent field his face lit up. While this scenario typically ends with the proclamation of an idea the person had years ago (but of course never acted upon) that they recently saw incorporated into a product from a major company like Apple or Amazon, this man's situation was far different.

As he explained the business he was involved in he told me of a chance encounter he had with a patent owner years ago. The patent owner had patented a process for dealing with an industrial byproduct that has been piling up for over one hundred years to the point where approximately 2.5 billion tons of the toxic material is sitting in piles and ponds around the world. The patent owner was an individual, not associated with any corporation and had done little with the patent since obtaining it. He was an engineer and inventor, but not a business or marketing expert.

The businessman saw the opportunity immediately and a partnership between the two was soon formed. Today that company operates worldwide, taking a toxic industrial byproduct and turning it into an inert building material. From a business perspective, that patent asset which had been collecting dust on a shelf, served as the catalyst for a new company thanks to the chance encounter between businessman and inventor.

Do you have patents that aren't being fully utilized? Or are you a business seeking such technologies to monetize? At Techson, our unique combination of business and patent experts can help you identify and monetize those assets. Give us a call and see how we can help you.