Have you or your work team invented a new technology that should be patented by your company? Or do you already have a patent that you want to license to another company?
It's vital to document all the aspects for a patent and follow through on all the legal steps to register and license patented technologies. Whether you want to convince your management to apply for a patent or want to persuade a potential client of the benefits of licensing your patent, you will need to write a proposal.
You are most likely a designer or an engineer, not a writer, so writing a proposal might sound a bit intimidating. You'll soon see that doesn't need to be, though, because all proposals should follow a certain four-part structure:
- Reader-focused section
- A section describing your ideas and plans
- The all-about-you section
Let's work through those sections from the beginning down. The very first item in a proposal package should be a Cover Letter or, in the case of an internal company document, perhaps an Introduction page. This page should be concise: simply state who you are and why you are submitting this proposal, state the action you'd like the reader to take after considering the proposal information, and provide all the contact information the reader needs to easily find you.
Next, the topmost page of the proposal should be a Title Page, which is exactly what it sounds like. Just name your proposal in a descriptive fashion, like “Proposal to Patent the QRX Screening Technology” or “Offer of Patent License to Davidson Manufacturing.” If your proposal is reasonably simple, that's all you need in the way of an Introduction section. If your proposal is more complex, you may need to include a Table of Contents and an Executive Summary, which is simply a list of the most important points you want every reader to understand.
Now for the reader-focused section. Put yourself in your readers' shoes. What will they want to know? What are their requirements or concerns? How will your proposal benefit them? This section should include pages describing Needs Analysis, Requirements and Benefits, at the very least. This is where you describe why your management or your potential client should consider your proposal, how it will fulfill their needs and help them reach their goals, and how your plan will benefit them. This section is all about the reader.
In the next section, the description of ideas and plans, you include as many topics as necessary to describe your proposal. If you are proposing to patent an invention, you probably need to describe the aspects of the technology or idea that should be patented, as well as the steps in the process and who should be responsible for following through.
If you are proposing to license your existing patent, then you should explain any details the readers need to know about the patented technology, as well as the licensing terms you are offering and what it will cost. Here you might need pages like Licensing, Non-disclosure, Restrictions, Procedures, Cost Summary, Limitations, Competition, Innovativeness, Intellectual Property, and so forth. There are countless topics available to flesh out all aspects of a detailed proposal.
In addition to writing your proposal you should also consult with a patent professional to ensure you properly protect your investment and the future potential of your invention with the appropriate use and/or design patents.
In the final all-about-you section, your goal is to convince the proposal reader that you are a trustworthy expert. Include all the information about your Education, Experience, Expertise, and Certifications. You might want to include a Resume or Biography, a list of Patents that you hold, a Company History or About Us page, any Testimonials you have about the patented technology, and so forth. Again, put yourself in your readers' position. Supply the information needed to persuade them that you are professional and dependable.
After you have inserted all the information you need in your proposal, take a little time to proofread and format it - you want your proposal to represent you at your professional best.
Those are the basic steps for organizing and writing the proposal. After you have all the information down on the pages, focus on ensuring that your proposal is visually appealing. Incorporate your company logo, use colored page borders, and/or select interesting fonts and custom bullets to add color and design. Just be sure to match your company style when making these selections. Learn how to effectively select colors for a winning business proposal.
The first proposal you write may take you some time. But you will find that each subsequent one is easier to write, because although you need to customize each proposal to the specific readers, all your proposals will contain a lot of the same information.
You don't have to start your proposal writing project with a blank word processing screen, unless you prefer that challenge. Using a dedicated product like Proposal Kit will save you a lot of time and confusion. Proposal Kit includes all the topic templates you'll need, including all those mentioned above. Each template has suggestions and examples of information to put on that page, so you'll never feel lost.
There more than a hundred sample proposals for you to check out, too, including a couple of samples focused on patents, inventions, and licensing. Need nondisclosure forms or other basic contracts? They're in Proposal Kit, too; you can simply modify them to suit your own needs. Proposal Kit was designed for writing business proposals, but you can use it for reports, studies, and information packets, too. It's a great product for general business use as well.