Gilbert Baker, long time LGBT+ activist and designer of the internationally beloved rainbow flag, has passed away. Baker began his life as an artist, performer and organizer in 1972, after being honorably discharged from the army while stationed in San Francisco. His beneficial environment and timing allowed him to learn
Designers pride themselves on their execution. But the licensing model requires you to be willing to relinquish some control. There are enormous benefits — and self-employment is freeing.
Have you ever wanted to search for existing or expired design patents not only in your own country, but in the countries where you'd like to sell your designs? A website called DesignView has wrangled together the design patent databases of 45 countries, plus the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property
There's nothing like meeting someone to face to face, but obviously, you can't rely on trade shows exclusively to license your ideas for new products. They're yearly events! Whereas—especially given how important speed to market has become— embracing a sense of urgency will serve you well. That's where LinkedIn comes
In my last column, I described the method I've been using to reach out to companies for product licensing consideration for over 30 years. It works, but I'll be honest: Getting in touch with the right people at the right companies can take time. If you're a professional designer, you
For the past few months, I've been writing about the strategies I've developed to license product ideas in exchange for passive income. Because speed to market is more important than ever, I focus on determining whether a concept is marketable or not as quickly as I can. I want to
Lights, camera, action! It's time for you to become a director. Don't sweat it — it's not that hard. If your sell sheet is worth a thousand words, your video sell sheet is priceless. Like I wrote about at length here, I recommend using sell sheets to pitch potential licensees
The way I see it, you're not really in the game until you've begun contacting potential licensees to pitch them on your concept for a new product. Up until now, the work you've done has been more or less in a vacuum. Before you get in too deep, you need
Getting hired at Worlds of Wonder at age 27 as my first 'real' job was a dream come true. A toy company, really? As a child I devoured toys, collecting everything — soldiers, Matchbox cars, model airplanes, board games. I was truly giddy. After experiencing what it took to
If you want to license your concepts for new products, you need to be able to test them quickly. Because, like I've said before, licensing is a numbers game. The strategy I described in my last article, "Why a $65 Patent Application is All You Need to License a Product
When it comes to protecting your creativity, my first piece of advice is to focus on working with companies that embrace independent product developers. I wrote about which industries and what kinds of companies are most likely to embrace you here. Step 1: Look for Red FlagsFor starters, make
Before I dive much further into product licensing strategy, I want to describe some of the broad conclusions I've reached about protecting your creations and the value of intellectual property. To do that, I need to explain a little bit more about my background first, because the conclusions I've reached
In my last column, I introduced a few tenets of basic product licensing strategy. Namely, that it's unwise to spend too much time developing a concept before getting feedback if you want to do this for a living. To put it more bluntly, you will need to check your ego
Companies are increasingly willing to look for new product ideas beyond their four walls. And why wouldn't they? Embracing open innovation is fiscally sound, not to mention rational: Creative people want to work for themselves. In the U.S. alone, contingent workers are predicted to exceed 40 percent of the workplace
Lazer Tag Kit In the mid-80s, I had the fortune of working at the red-hot toy startup Worlds of Wonder in its design department. Worlds of Wonder brought Teddy Ruxpin, the animatronic storytelling teddy bear that became a bestseller, to market, as well as similarly innovative products like Lazer Tag.
The designers at Orange22 landed a multi-million-dollar licensing deal for its Grid-It™ elastic storage technology, which is now in over 200 different products.This is the first in a series of columns on product licensing for product designers.Product Design students and recent graduates from across the country contact me for career...
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