The growth of IP and licensing is creating new, previously un-thought of ways to exploit and use it. Savvy IP owners are finding new sources of income by re-purposing their IP for use in a different industry or product application.

A recent example is Bitcoin, whose technology is finding new applications.  Its online system, called Proof of Existence, is now testing its use to show document ownership without revealing the information it contains. It can also give proof that a document was authored at a particular time.

The actual file is not stored online and limits the risk of a user’s material getting published. In addition to time-stamping, the system make sure that files are what they are supposed to be. Developers, for example, can use the service to later verify versions of their code, inventors can prove they had an idea at a certain time and authors can protect their works. Here’s a link to read the full article: Bitcoin’s Technology Could Revolutionize Intellectual Property Rights.

Many times an IP is developed for a specific purpose, but can also be re-purposed for use in other industries. A great example is NASA . This agency looks for licensing partners to re purpose a number of aerospace technologies, including information technology, materials science, sensor technologies and additive manufacturing, into new businesses outside the aerospace industry. In another example, one of the largest consumer products companies discovered a foam used for soundproofing and insulation was also great cleaning tool when wet, and turned it into the number one brand of cleaning sponges and mops.

Finding new uses is a great strategy if you’ve been unable to get your IP commercialized in the market. Instead of letting it sit, find other applications for it . One of the most successful toy products in the world, The Super Soaker water gun was originally designed as an industrial water pump. Other interesting examples include Bubble Wrap, which was originally invented as wall paper; Duct Tape, which was originally used to seal WW2 ammunition cases; Olestra,the fat substitute product, which failed in the consumer market and was re-purposed as a cleanser for contaminated soil.

Don’t overlook these opportunities to re-purpose or find new applications of your IP. They could be some of the most valuable. These unused rights are money-making assets that can be licensed into different markets, bundled with other IP, or re-purposed for new product applications.

Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events.  He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.

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