Frequently Asked Questions

About Edison Nation

So, what exactly is Edison Nation?

Edison Nation is a company dedicated to helping independent inventors get their ideas licensed and into the marketplace. We focus on getting new products to market on behalf of our inventor community and on behalf of the retailers, manufacturers and companies we work with. Our team is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, but our growing community of inventors can be found around the world.

I have this great idea for a new product. How do I share it?

We’re glad you asked! Edison Nation accepts ideas through our secure online submission process. First, check out what searches we have running. You’ll find we regularly work with household companies to help them find new product ideas. If you see a search that’s a fit for your idea, submit! We understand that we may not always have a search running that fits your idea. The Edison Nation Licensing team hosts an ongoing search for new consumer product ideas that is open to you whenever lightning strikes. Our Edison Nation ASOTV team also hosts a search for new hit TV products that is open to you at all times. If you’d like to learn more about the successful products that have come from our platform, please read through our success stories here!

How complicated is the submission process?

Submitting an idea to the Edison Nation team is easy. It’s your time to tell us about your idea, why it’s innovative, how you came up with it and more. You can also upload photography, videos, sell sheets and more to help tell your idea’s story. Once you start a submission, you can always save and edit later.

How do I know my idea is protected?

The submission process is secure. Each partner we work with signs an NDA confidentiality agreement. At the close of the submission, we ask you to sign an Innovator Agreement. It’s Edison Nation policy to keep your submissions safe and secure while in our system.

I think I get it! How do I get started?

Right this way! It’s free to join the Edison Nation community.

How do I get in contact Edison Nation?

If you have questions about Edison Nation, this FAQ is a great place to start. You may also want to jump over to our community-powered forums and visit our New Member FAQ. We have quite a few long time members who are happy to help guide you along. If you need further support and/or are having billing and technical issues, please find our Support Site. Also, connect with us socially! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+.

Account Basics

How do I login and navigate the Edison Nation interface?

Click here to login to your Edison Nation account. To maximize your user experience, we suggest reviewing all of the current searches from your member dashboard. See any that fit the ideas you have? Submit! See a search that gets your creativity going? Submit! Read through our blog for plenty of useful content. Take a look at our forums and don’t be shy! Join the conversation.

Remember that time I forgot my login info? Help.

It happens to the best of us. Follow these easy steps to reset your information.

Help me reset my password, please?

To reset your password, please visit here.

How do I update my billing info?

To update your billing information, login to your Edison Nation account and click “edit profile.” From here, you can update your Edison Nation profile information, including your billing info.

Idea Submission & Evaluation Process (Innovation Search)

I have the best idea ever. Can I just email it to you?

The Edison Nation team only accepts ideas through the online submission process. Why is that? It’s in your best interest, we promise! Our submission process protects you from public disclosure and it's the system we’ve worked hard to build so that we can best analyze the ideas we receive.

How do I submit an idea?

We're glad you asked! Edison Nation accepts ideas through our secure online submission process. First, check out what searches we have running. You’ll find that we regularly work with household companies to help them find new product ideas. If you see a search that’s a fit for your idea, submit! We understand that we may not always have a search running that fits your idea. The Edison Nation Licensing team hosts an ongoing search for new consumer product ideas that is open to you whenever lightning strikes. Our Edison Nation ASOTV team also hosts a search for new hit TV products that is open to you at all times. If you’d like to learn more about the successful products that have come from our platform, please read through our success stories here!

Can I submit my idea from Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Chile or anywhere else in the world?

Yes! The Edison Nation platform is global. All it takes is a great idea.

Does Edison Nation have an age requirement?

You’ve got to be at least 18-years-old to submit an idea. Those who are under age can submit an idea through a parent or legal guardian

Once I submit my idea, how will I know whether or not it was selected?

Each idea submitted to an Edison Nation search goes through our 8-stage review process. We’re reviewing each idea based upon the criteria found in the search description. We’re also assessing the idea against what’s out there in the market, its patentability, and much more. We’ll keep you updated along the way through your dashboard. Be sure to login and check your dashboard to stay tuned!

Does Edison Nation accept submissions outside of Innovation Searches?

No. We only accept ideas submitted to a specific search

Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!

We know that once you submit an idea to a search, you want to see it magically fast track through to licensing success. Let us caution you that inventing can be a marathon – not a sprint. Each search can run anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. Once an idea is submitted, please expect that all concepts will be reviewed up until the presentation date. This presentation date is usually set a few weeks following the close of the search. After the presentation has been given to our partner, they have between 45 days and 6 months to decide which ideas they’d like to move forward on. The Edison Nation team works very hard to move this along as quickly as we can, and we promise to keep you updated along the way. Join the forums where you’ll usually likely find a topic dedicated solely to a search. Here, you can collaborate with fellow inventors who are going down the same path as you!

Are Innovation Search submissions with Edison Nation kept private?

Yes. We invite you to review our Innovator Agreement here.

How exactly does Edison Nation slice up the economical pie?

If an idea is selected for licensing, the partner will traditionally offer a licensing “success fee” which we split with you, 50/50. The Edison Nation team will continue to work with the partner to see through your idea’s development. If/when it hits the market you will receive 50% of the royalties earned. Remember: the market decides what products will ultimately succeed or fail. Our success is your success, so we are always on your side guiding your idea along.

How do I edit an existing or saved submission?

Click here to view all of your ideas and submissions and click “edit” next to the idea you would like to edit. If you do make changes to your submission, we do ask that you indicate as such so that the review team is aware that changes were made, important information was added and more.

What does opting-in or opting-out mean?

Members can choose to opt-out their idea from a search at any time prior to Stage 7. It’s easy to do so. Just login to your Edison Nation account, find the idea on your dashboard and click “edit.” From here, you just select “remove” and your idea is safely removed from that search. When it comes to opting-in ideas, this is when a member takes an existing idea that was previously submitted to a search, and then opts it into another search. You can do this from your dashboard, as well. Edison Nation Insider members can opt-in ideas for free. Does this sound like a perk for you? Explore the benefits of being an Insider here.

Why must I pay $25 to submit an idea?

The $25 submission fee covers a portion of the cost we take on to review each idea submitted to our platform. Insider members submit new ideas for $20 each with the ability to opt-in existing ideas to searches for free. Does this sound like a benefit for you? Explore the benefits of being an Insider here.

Apparently I’m a “Finalist.” What does final consideration mean?

This means the Edison Nation team will present your idea to the company that hosted the search. Congratulations! You are in a select group of people who reach G7 status.

Hurry up already. When will I know if you want to turn my idea into a product?

Each search takes time. Following the close of a search, our team takes a few weeks to review all of the ideas submitted and narrows them down to the top that are presented. Once a presentation happens, our partner has 45 days to 6 months to decide on which idea(s) they want to move forward on. The Edison Nation team stays involved all along the way, and any information we receive, we share back to you on the forums. Remember: inventing is a marathon and takes patience! Do know we are on your side.

Can I get feedback on my idea?

Our Insider members receive feedback from the review team as to why their idea was not selected to move forward. This feedback is based on information received from the partnering company or from the review team as a whole. This is a feature for Insiders only. Learn more about the benefits of being an Insider!

How transparent is the idea review process?

We know you’re curious, which is why we’ve detailed the 8-stages here:

  • Stage 1

    Submission Received
    Your submission has been submitted successfully.

  • Stage 2

    Pre-Screen
    Your submission has met the minimum requirements of the search.

  • Stage 3

    Initial IP Review
    Your submission has passed our first round of competitive analysis and intellectual property review.

  • Stage 4

    Research & Design
    We review and benchmark your submission against competitive products. In some cases, our product designers may enhance your idea to take it to the next level.

  • Stage 5

    Final Consideration
    We benchmark your submission against the other submissions for the search. The best move forward for more in-depth intellectual property review (stage 6). Key review criteria include: market potential, price point, match for the search sponsor, and any other requirements defined in the search description.

  • Stage 6

    Final IP Review
    We perform a more in-depth analysis of competing intellectual property, patents and ideas in the public domain.

  • Stage 7

    Finalists
    This is our final review. If your submission passes this stage, it will be presented to the search sponsor for consideration.

  • Stage 8

    Success
    If your submission has passed this stage (the exclamation point turns green), it either means (1) your submission has been selected by the search sponsor for commercialization; or (2) in the case of ASOTV items, your submission has been selected for testing. We will contact you directly with more details!

  • Your idea was not selected
    If your submission is not selected to move on at any stage, you will see a red X over that stage.

I understand that the Edison Nation Medical team has their own review process. Can you share?

We know you’re curious, which is why we’ve detailed the 8-stages here:

  • Stage 1

    Submission Received
    We safely, securely and successfully received your idea.

  • Stage 2

    Pre-Screen
    We determine if your submission meets the minimum search requirements.

  • Stage 3

    Initial Intellectual Property (1 month after search closes)
    We conduct our first round of competitive analysis and intellectual property (IP) review.

  • Stage 4

    Research & Design (1 month)
    In addition to possible early stage R&D, we present your submission to the medical expert panel for clinical evaluation and possible submission to different specialty groups for initial clinical efficacy evaluation.

  • Stage 5

    Final Consideration (2 months)
    We present your idea to various additional medical specialty groups to consider more in-depth clinical efficacy.

  • Stage 6

    Final IP Review (2 months)
    We perform a more in-depth analysis of competing IP, scope of IP protection and freedom to operate. We then benchmark your submission against other ideas, considering criteria such as strength of IP, clinical impact, price point, regulatory challenge and more.

  • Stage 7

    Finalists (6 months)
    We review one final time and present the best and brightest ideas to the search sponsor/potential licensing companies. We work with a hospital to design and conduct the necessary evaluations for any ideas that need field studies to confirm efficacy.

  • Stage 8

    Success
    Your submission has been selected by the search sponsor/licensing company to take to market!

  • Your idea was not selected
    If your submission is not selected to move on at any stage, you will see a red X over that stage.

Do I need a patent to submit my idea?

You don’t need a patent to submit an idea. We’re open to all great, new ideas!

I'm an overachiever and have already filed a patent. May I still submit an idea? What happens if it's selected?

Yes! You can submit your patented or patent-pending idea to any of our current searches. If you have a patented or patent-pending idea, you may want to look into our Insider Licensing Program. If selected, you can have the Edison Nation Licensing team working on your behalf to help secure a deal with one of our partners.

This is simply shorthand for the stages your idea may or may not move forward. “G” stands for green, as in the green checkmark that you see on your dashboard when your idea passes a stage. “R” stands for red, or the red X you see on your dashboard when your idea does not pass a stage. As an example, G5 means you passed Stage 5, whereas R2 means you did not pass Stage 2 of the review.

If a submission fails in one search, is it safe to say that it won’t pass in another search?

Not at all! Each search has its own criteria. What works for one partner may not work for another. Also, if your idea doesn’t move forward in a search, take a step back and try to understand why. Can you improve it or make changes? We invite you to edit your submission and resubmit it to future searches.

How long will it take my idea to move to the next stage?

Unfortunately, there’s no set timeline. We can tell you that the first few stages move quickly, whereas the final half of the review process is more diligent and tends to take more time.

HELP. Technology is ruining everything and I'm having trouble uploading videos or other files!

Laptop / Desktop Computers

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of your preferred modern browser Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
  2. Verify your internet connection's speed with speedtest.net. Anything above 1MB/s should provide a reasonable upload time depending on your file size.
  3. When you click to upload your file, make sure you do not switch screens or minimize the browser until the upload is complete.

For Mobile Devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.)

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Safari (iPhone and iPad) or Chrome (iPhone, iPad, Android) installed. Make sure you are connected to either wifi or high speed LTE.
  2. Verify your internet connection's speed with speedtest.net. Anything above 1MB/s should provide a reasonable upload time depending on your file size.
  3. When you click to upload your file, make sure you do not switch screens or minimize the browser until the upload is complete.
  4. Make sure your mobile device does not go into standby mode.

For Immediate Assistance

If you followed the steps above and you're still having issues, visit our forums and a member may be able to help you with your issue.

If all else fails, submit a support request and we'll get back to you within 24-48 hours, between Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM (EST).

Does the red "X" mean what I think it does?

Sadly, yes. The Red X means the review team chose to not move your idea forward in a search. Don’t fret - each search has its own criteria. What works for one partner may not work for another. Also, if your idea doesn’t move forward in a search, take a step back and try to understand why. Can you improve it or make changes? We invite you to edit your submission and resubmit it to future searches.

So...what happens if my idea isn’t selected?

It’s up to you to decide if this particular idea is in need of tweaking and editing, or if it’s time to shelve it. Many people find ways to improve their idea submission and try, try again!

I'd really appreciate some feedback on my idea! How do I go about orchestrating that?

Feedback is only available to our Insider members. Learn how to upgrade to an Insider membership!

What’s the average number of submissions to each search?

Depending on the scope of the search, we can receive anywhere from a few hundred submissions to thousands.

Can a product currently in a Innovation Search be submitted to other Innovation Searches?

Yes!

Is there a privacy policy in place for Innovation Searches?

Yes! We sign an NDA with all of our search partners.

What happens if my idea IS selected?

If your idea is selected from a search, that partner typically shares a licensing success fee. Edison Nation in turn splits this with you, 50/50. The Edison Nation team will remain in contact with the partner from the moment the deal is signed to when the product is ready for the marketplace. There can be the occasion that even after a licensing deal is signed the product is never made. We can’t control the market, but we can and do make every effort to see that your idea is commercialized.

Show me the money. How much will I be paid?

The Edison Nation Licensing team works very hard to secure competitive royalty structures on your behalf. While this varies by each deal, we can guarantee that we split the royalties with you, 50/50.

How will I receive updates throughout the Innovation Search Process?

We will keep you posted on the fate of your idea through your dashboard. Just login to your Edison Nation account to keep track!

Edison Nation Insider Membership

An Insider Membership? Tell me more!

An Insider Membership is our premium level of membership. Insiders receive feedback on all of their ideas and gain access to online features that aren’t available to the rest. In addition, Insiders receive discounts on each idea they submit, can opt-in ideas for free, and much more. Want to learn more about being an Insider? Read more and upgrade!

What does it cost to be an Insider member?

Insider membership is $99 for a full year or $9.25 a month, automatically debited each month.

How do I become an Insider?

It’s easy to upgrade!

How can I manage my membership?

You can change your membership at any time by logging in to your Edison Nation account and clicking “edit profile” from your dashboard. Here, you’ll be able to manage your membership settings, including your Insider membership status.

Insider Licensing Program

What is the Insider Licensing Program?

The Edison Nation Licensing team set up the Insider Licensing Program (ILP) to help our Insider members with patented or patent-pending ideas. Our team has access and relationships with quite a few retailers and manufacturers across several industries. If your patented or patent pending idea is accepted into the ILP, you will have a team working on your behalf to introduce your idea to the right people with the intention of getting it licensed.

How do I qualify for the Insider Licensing Program?

For starters, you must be an Insider member with a patented or patent-pending idea. The Licensing team will not select those ideas that encounter these issues: your idea is too cost-prohibitive to produce, has engineering challenges, there are already major players in the marketplace that have launched a product(s) similar to yours. Remember: the team is looking for those ideas that are novel and have the potential to be a game changer.

Does my idea qualify for the Insider Licensing Program if I just have a Provisional Patent Application?

Yes!

Will I receive feedback on my idea?

Yes! The market ultimately will decide what products will be successful and what products can be licensed. There are certainly no guarantees. When a deal is signed, we’ll share the good news with you. If we’re not able to get sincere interest and/or a licensing deal, we’ll let you know why and provide you with straightforward feedback as soon as possible.

How long does it take?

Arranging a licensing deal takes time, and unfortunately there is not set timeframe on this effort. When an idea is accepted into the ILP, our team reviews each idea, prepares it for pitching, and works to approach the right contact(s) within that industry and/or product category. This takes time, follow up and diligence. The Edison Nation Licensing team makes every effort to review and update those in the ILP. No news is good news, but we do try to keep you informed along the way.

Put your money where your mouth is. What ideas have the Insider Licensing Program team successfully licensed?

Take a look at our track record by reading through our success stories!

The Insider Licensing Program sounds great to me. How do I get started?

First, be sure to upgrade to Insider status! Then visit our Insider Licensing Program search page, which is open to you year round. The submission process is similar to our Innovation Search process – be sure to tell your story and let us know why your product is the next great item!

How much does the Insider Licensing Program cost?

It costs $100 to submit your idea for consideration in the ILP. If your idea is accepted into the program, you will have an entire team working on your behalf on your idea to see its way to the market.

Once I submit my idea, what's next?

Preliminary Review. Our team will first perform a preliminary review to ensure your invention meets the program criteria. Factors that might keep your idea from moving forward include: your invention is too cost-prohibitive, has engineering challenges and/or major players in the marketplace have already launched products similar to yours. If none of these apply, your idea will be approved and move on to the preparation phase.

Preparation. At this time, we perform a “best partner” review. We take inventory of our retail and manufacturing contacts and begin to map out just who should learn more about your idea. We conduct a gap analysis and visit the store shelves to understand the market and to get an understanding as to where your idea fits. We develop the materials necessary to position and pitch your invention in the best possible light.

Pitching. Your idea moves into “finalist” mode and our team begins proactively pitching your idea. Our team is on the phone, on email and using our proprietary presentation system to get attention on your idea. When a company expresses interest, we move into term sheets and negotiations. If a company expresses disinterest, we take note of this, too. We stay in constant contact with the licensee until we negotiate the best possible deal for you.

Outcome. In the end, the market decides what products will be successful. There are no guarantees. When the deal is signed, we’ll share the good news with you. If for some reason we are not successful finding the best licensing partner for you, we’ll let you know why and provide you this straightforward feedback as soon as possible.

Legal

How am I (and my product) protected?

The submission process for every Edison Nation search is secure. Each partner we work with signs an NDA confidentiality agreement. At the close of the submission, we ask you to sign an Innovator Agreement. It’s Edison Nation policy to keep your submissions safe and secure while in our system.

Where can I download and review the legal agreement for Innovation Searches?

We invite you to review our Innovator Agreement. Download a copy here!

Where can I download and review the legal agreement for the Insider Licensing Program?

We invite you to review our Insider Licensing Program Innovator Agreement. Download a copy here!

Do I need a patent to submit my idea?

You don’t need a patent to submit an idea. However, you’ll see that many searches are looking for new ideas. If your idea already exists in the marketplace, you may want to consider ways you can drastically improve it and/or make it a game changer.

Who owns the intellectual property of my invention if my idea is selected?

Good question. If your idea is selected from a search, Edison Nation acquires the rights to your idea (please see the Innovator Agreement). Our commitment to our inventor community and to our retail/manufacturing partners is to be the advocate of an idea. We’ll work on your behalf to see the idea is licensed, developed, and introduced to the market. If we aren’t successful in this effort, all IP rights go back to you. Our business is to make successful licensing and development deals; this is in your best interest and our best interest.

I’ve heard of it, but what exactly is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is a work or invention that is a result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark and more. We invite you to visit the United States Patent & Trademark Office website to learn more about our country’s patent processes and laws!

Can Edison Nation give me legal and/or patent advice about my idea?

No, the Edison Nation team cannot give legal and/or patent advice. Should you have questions about the patent process and/or Edison Nation’s innovator agreement, we invite you to consult with a patent attorney.

How does the America Invents Act affect Edison Nation?

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act essentially changed our first inventor-to-file system to one that is first to file. With this change, Edison Nation has modified the innovator agreement to protect the potential patentability of your innovation and to ensure our interests remain aligned. With this new law, it is very important that you do not submit or disclose anything related to your invention without a confidentiality agreement in place. Now, more than ever, partnering with Edison Nation helps level the playing field between independent inventors and the vast resources of large companies. For more information about the America Invents Act, be sure to visit the United States Patent & Trademark Office website.