One of my clients has developed an innovative recycling machine for a niche. He uses the machine himself as he has a recycling company. However, I advised him to capitalize on the invention by licencing the technology. This is because when talking to him he felt unease with manufacturing; he rather wants to stay with his main business. So, I proposed licencing to other equipment manufacturers. I want to manage this process on behalf of him, but I lack experience in licencing. Should my customer first patent the invention and then simply call manufacturers if there is some interest? What are the milestones and pitfalls in licencing?
Yes, by all means at least file a provisional patent. Under United States patent law, a provisional application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that establishes an early filing date, but does not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.