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Take Those Kit Ideas to the Bank

Since this is my first post on Kit Up!, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how your ideas about your kit are worth something.

What the hell am I talking about?  Intellectual Property (IP), that’s what.  It’s how Mr. Gore made billions with his patented Gore-Tex technology. 

Too many times I’ve seen great ideas captured by the big boys of industry and the true innovators go unnoticed and uncompensated while industry profits.  Now I’m not talking about simple innovations like moving a buckle or pocket a few inches to the right or left.  I’m talking about game-changing ideas that many of you walk around with everyday. 

Let’s say you have an idea for a new sighting system that integrates a digital pin dot thermal and HD camera onto any weapons sight.  The camera is also enabled with a Bluetooth system and shoots a heads up display to a contact lens placed in your dominant eye.  The system would also allow an operator to pan corners without exposing vitals and give optical HD zoom that would greatly enhance situational awareness on the battlefield. 

Not bad eh?  Maybe I should write this one down myself.

My point is that many of you walk around with great ideas (start writing them down by the way) and if they’re patentable they may be worth millions to you.  In most cases you can simply license your patent to industry without getting involved in the actual manufacturing process and simply collect royalty payments. 

I’ve had a few friends in special operations patent and license their ideas successfully.  Have you ever of the Asherman Splint? This was invented by a Navy SEAL corpsman (medic).  

Patenting your ideas and licensing them out isn’t a bad way to stash a little extra money in your retirement account, or you can shelve it and build a business around it when you get out.  Either way, as a former SEAL, I’ve seen too many ideas pirated from my colleagues by the non-innovative wonks of industry (you’ve seen them before) that ultimately reap huge profits while the inventor goes unsung. 

Be careful next time your at that trades how giving away all your good ideas, they’re worth something and I guarantee if you're not taking notes, the guy in the tradeshow booth is.    

More coming on how to patent your idea and license it to industry…..

--Brandon

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please welcome our new contributor Brandon Webb. He's a former SEAL with nearly 13 years in the teams and was an instructor at the Naval Special Warfare sniper school. He's a writer and lecturer and is the co-author of a new book, 21st Century Sniper. Webb lives in San Diego.

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