How to Sell Your Ideas With or Without a Patent, by Steven Key
Really, I ought to recommend both of the Stephen Key books that I’ve read--the other one being One Simple Idea. Mr. Key takes a patient and charming walk with you from the basics of intellectual property law to the things you should keep in mind while licensing out your idea. This guy is not just knowledgeable, he is a brilliant strategist, and the advice he gives you on everything from provisional patents to optimizing attorney time flows gem after gem. His story about defending his “Spinformation” label patent in federal court is pretty wild too.
Patent Pending in 24 hours, by Richard Stim and David Pressman
Mr. Stim and Mr. Pressman writes a clear, concise, and informative walkthrough on how to write a provisional patent. But the really value information here, as far as I can tell, is about the preparation for writing a provisional patent. Mr. Pressman walks you through the patent search process, the decision making process about whether or not to write a patent at all, and how to do the patent drawings before getting into the nitty gritty of writing the patent app itself. This book is also packed with related IP resources like NDAs and interesting little bits of invention trivia. If you are interested in writing a provisional patent application yourself, this book is a must-have.
Four Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris
While Mr. Ferris does not get too deep into the strategy or mechanics of licensing, he lays out a unique, scalable, and comprehensive business model to follow once you’ve convinced a manufacturer to take on your idea. Mr. Ferris believes that a startup ought to outsource as much of its normal operations as possible, thereby allowing the owner of the business to focus on creating new ideas, businesses, and experiences. This manual on how to create an “outsourced lifestyle” is, in a way, what licensing your ideas out is all about.