Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What exactly is aShoGi?
A: aShoGi is a software platform that connects people who have ideas, patents, copyrights, (really any sort of intellectual property) with people that want to buy or license those things. In other words, we help people with ideas, find people that want to turn those ideas into a marketable product. The idea is that being a great inventor is not the same thing as being a great businessman and vice versa.
Q: Do you buy patents or ideas directly? Can I sell you my patent? Will you help me sell my patent or idea?
A: No. aShoGi does not buy patents or ideas directly. We provide a software platform that let's inventors connect with businesses. We are NOT brokers or agents for the purchase or sale of patents.
We provide listing and additional customer support assistance for enterprise subscribers, but ultimately the inventory understands his or her product better than anyone else and is best prepared to create the patent listing on our system. We do provide listing reviews to enterprise users who request it.
Q: What does the name aShoGi mean?
A: aShoGi is an acronym that stands for "atop the shoulders of giants", a phrase derived from a letter written by Issac Newton where he humbly downplayed his genius in the creation of modern physics and calculus. Essentially, we here at aShoGi hope to help future giants of business and innovation connect with one another and create new products and services through collaboration.
Q: My company/organization already has an R&D team developing new products or a team to license tech that we develop - why is aShoGi useful?
A: R&D teams and tech transfer teams are both important and serve a valuable role at many organizations. We at aShoGi are a complement to those teams, not a substitute. Ask yourself, is your R&D team the only set of people researching new ideas in your space? Is your tech transfer team truly in contact with every possible commercialization partner? Probably not, right? University researchers, government scientists at federal labs, and other companies all develop new ideas they don't have the capacity to bring to market. Similarly there are millions of small businesses out there looking for new products to help them grow and become more profitable. aShoGi provides a platform and tools to help facilitate those connections.
Q: Can aShoGi guarantee that my invention will be licensed by a company?
A: Absolutely not!!! We can't even speculate on whether your concept/IP is good or useful. However, what we can do is help you to (1.) get in front of potential partners that might be interested in bringing your product to market and (2.) help connect you to development partners to help you refine your concept and make it more appealing to the market. At the end of the day, a terrible idea is not going to find a buyer - at least not without changes. What we do is help ensure that good and great ideas do find buyers, and that you have access to resources to determine how to improve your idea no matter what stage it's at.
Q: How long will it take for my concept to find a buyer?
A: Unfortunately there is no way to answer that. Realistically, you should plan on this being a process that takes months. If you have a great idea and are willing to offer it on reasonable terms, it could take a few weeks. If your idea needs refinement or you are seeking an aggressive price, it could take years to find a buyer. In fact, some product concepts will never find a buyer. The best analogy here is real estate and selling a house - some houses sell in days, others literally sit on the market for years, most houses take at least a few months to sell. Great marketing and promotion help get you in front of potential buyers (that's where we come in), but great exposure in the market won't make up for an idea with limited appeal.
Q: Can aShoGi guarantee that I will find a new product to make and sell successfully?
A: Absolutely not!!! Most new products each year fail. Studies looking at this issue have cited anywhere from 65% to 95% of new products do not get substantial market traction. But you also can't ignore the need to develop new products. Doing that is a sure way to see your company slowly become obsolete and eventually fail. The goal of aShoGi - and the inspiration behind our founding - is to help companies find the best new product ideas and bring them to market.
Most people with great invention concepts don't end up building successful businesses around them. The inventor may lack the skills to build the business, the marketing team, the financial resources, or any of 100 other factors. That does NOT mean the product concept itself was a bad idea - just that building a business is hard. So the goal of aShoGi is to help address that - take existing businesses that need new ways to grow and give them access to the best under-utilized ideas and product concepts out there.
Q: I don't have a patent - I just have an idea - can I still use aShoGi?
A: Certainly - patents are very expensive and it only makes sense to see if there is a market for your idea before you get it patented. We do not require that you have any sort of patent in order to use the service. HOWEVER - we do advise that you be careful about what you put in your product listing if your product is not covered by some sort of legal protection. In fact, even if you do have legal protection like a patent, it still pays not to give away all of the secret aspects of your concept. Don't put anything in your product listing that you would not tell a group of general people at a business meeting. We are not a platform that is open to the internet, but at the same time, until you have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place, you should always be careful about release IP information.
Q: My ideas or concept is not patentable - can I still use aShoGi?
A: Of course - many great ideas and concepts can't be patented directly. KFC's Chicken recipe comes to mind as a famous example guarded only as a trade secret. You do need to be very careful about what you put in your listings - give people a reason to contact you and learn more about the concept.
Again - don't put anything in your product listing that you would not tell a group of general people at a business meeting. We are not a platform that is open to the internet, but at the same time, until you have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place, you should always be careful about release IP information.
Q: I'm trying to find new customers/business partners/suppliers, can aShoGi help?
A: Absolutely - you can use our platform to contact and work with all sorts of supply chain partners be they buyers of your product, inventors, attorneys, accountants, business coaches, or anyone else that can help you build your business. We also have a preferred partners page that will be rolling out soon with a directory of development partners in various areas.
Q: Will aShoGi be adding new features in the future?
A: Yes! We are hard at work rolling out new features including analytics tools, forecasting tools, and collaboration tools to help improve the benefits of the platform for our customers.
Q: How can I send an idea or request for a future aspect of the service to aShoGi management?
A: We love getting feedback from customers - if you have an idea that you think would improve the platform, just drop us an email at email@example.com. We'll evaluate it, and get back to you if we think we can roll it out in the near future.
Q: Where is aShoGi located?
A: We are a US-based software company with offices in Connecticut and Tennessee.