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?
The best place to start would be call up the potential manufacturers and ask them if they look at new technologies or inventions for potential licensing. Some long standing industries with very few players are very difficult industries to licence in.
If actually pitching the technology, you should have IP and I recommend filing a provisional patent which gives a year of patent pending status. Also if you qualify as a micro entity, the PPA filing fee is only $65.
This allows you to pitch to companies with a provisional patent and find out the level of interest prior to investing in the much more costly non provisional patent.