To view additional information contained in the links in the article please see the original http://www.jaws.co.nz/about-us/media/article/the-three-little-inventors

The was once three little inventors. They had each invented a world beating technology. 

The first little inventor built her prototype and decided not to bother obtaining ownership via a patent or design (she had been told that these rights were not essential and cost too much anyway). 

The second little inventor had the foresight to actually meet an Intellectual Property expert but he only had the capital to apply for rudimentary ownership rights and chose to rely on copyright and a well drafted non-disclosure agreement. 

The third little inventor had no more money than the first or second, but knew (not unlike when building a house) she needed good solid foundations and to use good materials or there was no point in building the prototype in the first place. She took the time to sit down with an Intellectual Property strategist and she learned that to progress well, she needed to attract investors. 

This involved packaging her intellectual property in such a way that she could talk to potential investors without her rights or commercial advantage. 

She also learned that she should stagger her development, legal and intellectual property costs over the patent and design lifecycle so that she could obtain meaningful rights, use those rights to obtain further investments from third parties and use that investment to build an intellectual property portfolio as well as a prototype. 

The third little inventor took her time and applied for patents and design rights for her invention. She used her intellectual property lawyer to get robust agreements signed with third parties and all the while protected her ideas with non-disclosure agreements and a foolproof  intellectual property policy. 

The three little inventors completed their prototypes and took them to the market. 

A large US conglomerate came along. 

The conglomerate sent their patent attorney, their lawyer and their VP of product development to meet the inventors. 

They met the first little inventor and noticed the lack of any discernable rights whatsoever. The realised that they did not need the first little inventor in order to make and sell the invention and the first little inventor watched as the conglomerate conquered the world with her idea. 

The pack of conglomerate representatives met the second little inventor. They had to think about this one long and hard. They paid a deposit and spent three weeks undertaking a due diligence investigation into the technology, the patent rights and conducting a freedom to operate search of their own. They then strung the second inventor along, spent a year in development and at the end of that year, they had worked out how to make the invention and therefore did not need the second little inventor in order to make and sell the invention. The second little inventor watched as the conglomerate conquered the world with his idea.

The pack of conglomerate representatives met the third little inventor, her intellectual property advisers, and a representative of the venture capitalist group that had invested. They pulled the same old trick, paid a deposit, spent three weeks undertaking their due diligence investigation (all the while being chased and fed by the third little inventor’s advisory team), they huffed and they puffed and they discovered that the claim set in the patents and the scope of the designs were so well thought out that they simply had to take a license to use that intellectual property in order to make and sell the invention. They paid $350 million up front, agreed to pay a further $50 million to the inventor and her investors in royalties for the life of the patents and to employ the inventor in their product development division on a seven figure salary. 

The third little inventor employed the first and second inventors subject to them reading James & Wells’ textbook on intellectual property.

To view additional information contained in the links in the article please see the original http://www.jaws.co.nz/about-us/media/article/the-three-little-inventors