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Mind Over Matter

Selling intellectual property online

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The good news: You've created a nifty new way to solve a problem in your business, and you're sure countless other businesses could benefit from knowing your solution. But here's the problem: You've spent sleepless nights coming up with that idea and are ready for some compensation.

In most cases, the majority of benefits derived from such creations are lost by the creator. In a few cases, though, many millions have been made by inventors-for example, Priceline.com founder Jay Walker, whose idea for a "demand collection" system that matched bargain hunters with surplus inventory gave birth to a multibillion-dollar business (and a large fortune).

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