One of the most difficult problems in patent licensing is making contact with the people who have the authority to make a decision on licensing your invention. In many companies today the decision makers are so well insulated from the outside world that Michal Boylan in his book "Accelerants" likened reaching them to storming a castle.
Not that these folks have ever been easy to reach, but in the past the "gatekeepers" were often human beings who could be reasoned with. Those individuals have long since disappeared and been replaced by voice-mail trees that operate like Escher's endless staircase leading nowhere..
However, all is not lost because there are new media available that offer different routes to the decision makers. Among these are the social media , particularly Link edIn. You can use these media to find out who works at the companies that you are targeting and more importantly who you know who can introduce you to them.
The first problem for the invenor or their agent is to identify who the decision-maker is. Unless you have access to an internal corporate phone book (or its on line equivalent) this is extremely difficult,.
In some large companies there are persons whose job it is to "protect" the company from outside inventors. The reason that such an unlikely job exists is that those companies are constantly creating new ideas internally. They don't want find later on that their new product can be blocked in the marketplace by lawsuit from an inventor claiming he told them about it. Hence the "Outside Ideas Office" whose job is to be the only one in the corporation who talks to outside inventors, and more importantly never to other members of the corporation.
To bypass this office you need to talk to someone else, for which you need an introduction. And you need to be sure this person never sends your idea to the "Outside Ideas Officer" as that is the kiss of death.
Again the Internet is one of your best resources to help find decision makers because they are often well represented at trade association conferences and other public documents. For publicly held companies you can also find information on the officers and directors but this information is unavailable for many privately held companies.
If you need help in getting to the right people, its helpful to deal with a company that has been through this process and may even have contacts in the companies you are targeting. Give us a call at ITTr and see if we can help