Should I Show Companies My Provisional Patent Application?

David Fedewa is inventRight’s Advanced Negotiations Coach. He and inventRight coach Amy Jo Brogan tackle an important question: Should you show a potential licensee your provisional patent application? If so, when?

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Welcome to the Ask David Fedewa Show, I am your host David Fedewa, and I am here to answer any one of your inventing questions.
I want to get started today and welcome Amy-Jo straight to licensing with Amy-jo into the show today. Thank you so much everyone for coming on.

Amy: Thank you David for having me, I appreciate it.
David: Of course, of course. And this is an episode where we wanted to get to some inventors questions that have made comments below and one of the ones that I found was by Bill Ward and I am going to put you on this one and then we can discuss a little bit and see our solution. So, I am start off, he says, “Thanks for all the helpful information you share,” it is much appreciated, I have a question, “Let us, say I sent presentation material to a potential licensee and they have interest in the product idea and let us say I informed them that I have submitted a PPA. What is the best move if they asked to review that PPA?”
Amy: Ok, that is a great question. And, do you want me to start, you want to start?
David: I want to… What we got on this one?
Amy: Okay. Well, when I usually do with that is, I would not show anybody my provisional patent application until it comes down to writing up the contract licensing, licensing contract. You know, a lot of companies from my experiences anyway that asked for provisional patent applications or patent applications or whatever right off the bat like right after senior marketing materials and not necessarily looking for your IP they want to move forward but they do not really know what questions asked and they were just assuming that that is the kind of next step to go and so, I mean basically you can find them ask them a few different questions. You know, you can set, you can be very clear with them that you are not comfortable disclosing the details of your provisional patent application at this point in time. If you have a working prototype then, you can talk about discussing that maybe ask them a few questions, “What is the reason for you, your company needing to review that right now?” And it just really try to get to them, what it is that they are looking for. What, you know what you guys can kind of start talking and the same language and get on the same page with moving forward with the process.
David: Yeah, I love that answer, it is kind of like a deflect and let us move towards having an agreement and I love that approach. That is…
Amy: What are your thoughts on that even?
David: I mean that it is you are exactly right. Is it is like a date and they do not know how to start the conversation, and, so just saying whatever first, I mean I have seen so many silly things come out on first emails when you send the product and yeah, they come back with like royalty rate you want, “How much do you want, what is your patent status?” They ask whatever it is just so they can get some back-and-forth going, It is not like they seriously need to have that information right then and there to move forward and I see and this is one of the big faults of mine early on I lost a couple deals I know because, whatever the company would ask for I would send them because I was so excited somebody on the same page with me did you? You know that with the armor Steven tell me a story, this is when you are a student. He is like Amy Jo, like he was asked for patent and…

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