Improving a business whether it’s through new products or services, expanding production or increasing efficiency is often time-consuming, and in the case of R&D, can be risky and costly. But it’s also the lifeblood of just about every business especially if they are in a highly competitive marketplace. And that’s creating great licensing opportunities for turnkey “IP” solutions in all types of industries, from manufacturing to Internet-based, product development, professional services, and more.
One example is a commercial cleaning company that provides a “turnkey” solution for manufacturers in the commercial cleaning market. In this case, the company is licensing its cleaning technology, production design know-how, and manufacturing equipment. The licensing strategy focuses on expanding its business globally and generates royalty revenues from licensees selling to both the private and government commercial cleaning markets. Instead of spending their money building, managing, and operating manufacturing facilities, they use licensing to partner with companies already in the commercial cleaning marketplace in different regions around the world. This frees the company resources to invest in their innovation and technologies, and continue to use licensing to build new markets for their cleaning solutions.
The Internet is opening up many opportunities for turnkey licensing. One of my clients developed a cloud-based, turnkey solution for game-based learning course authoring, delivery, and analytics. The platform transformed content into multimedia game-based learning courses then delivered the content to portable and desktop devices and provided a back-end dashboard of analytics in real-time. Their licensing strategy focused on developing partnerships with big education content providers who lacked a cloud-based platform but didn’t have the know-how or time to develop one from scratch.
Turnkey licensing of bundled IP for product development is another variation of this strategy. Rather than creating products from scratch, and dealing with the risky unknowns of developing proprietary components and software, product developers can literally license these off-the-shelf technologies. One savvy product development firm shifted its business model from being a “contract” developer for other companies to develop their own portfolio of IP around product hardware and software. Now the design firm offers OEM and other product developers the ability to speed up their R&D by licensing “market-ready” component technologies (software source code, computer chips, hardware designs, etc.) and adapting them to their R&D requirements.
Licensing is often overlooked by professional “knowledge-based” service business providers, such as coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers, and others who develop and use methods, processes, and procedures. In many cases, this know-how is a turnkey solution for helping clients increase profitability, productivity, sales, supply chains, operations, and more. I consulted a client who specialized in workplace safety consulting and training. They converted parts of their program into a turnkey training solution and licensed it to big companies wanting to set up their own internal safety training programs.
The interconnectivity of the Internet and the increasing pace of new technologies are creating opportunities for innovative turnkey IP solutions as businesses around the world scramble to stay competitive. Turnkey licensing is attractive because it offers a cost-effective, less risky, and faster way for a business to improve and grow. It provides a “working” IP solution that enables a company to get into the market sooner rather than later and remain ahead of its competition.
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. His first book, Hidden Wealth: The Money Making Power of Licensing was released in 2019 and is available on Amazon.com. He’s also 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.