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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   patent/idea
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S
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patent/idea
« on: Jun 18th, 2006, 5:39pm »
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hello, new member here.  
i have thought of an idea that could help people all around the world.  there is only one patent lawyer here in town and i haven't been able to get in contact with him this past week.  if one gets a patent, can they sell that patent to a company or keep the patent and give permission to companies to use the idea to sell and the person who has the patent can make money off the sales?  or, what if i don't decide to get a patent, can i still give the idea to a company and they can make the product and sell it and i can collect royalties even though they might decide to patent it under their name?  but different companies make a product that my invention can be used on, so basically each company that makes this product can use my invention and market my product.  
 
or does one just get a patent and sell the product themselves or get a patent and sell the idea or patent to the company and they can sell the product and i can collect royalties, or do i not even bother getting a patent and just tel the companies m idea and they can sell the product and i can collect royalties for life?  
 
sorry if this might be confusing.
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Wiscagent
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Re: patent/idea
« Reply #1 on: Jun 18th, 2006, 9:22pm »
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“…  if one gets a patent, can they sell that patent to a company or keep the patent and give permission to companies to use the idea to sell and the person who has the patent can make money off the sales?”
- YES
 
“… if i don't decide to get a patent, can i still give the idea to a company and they can make the product and sell it and i can collect royalties”
- YES, but that is very difficult.  If you do not have a patent what would the company be paying for?  Perhaps you have value to the company as a consultant or you have some secrets the company would be willing to pay for.  
 
“… they might decide to patent it under their name?”
- If they got the idea from you, then legally they can not patent it.
 
“… different companies make a product that my invention can be used on,”
- If you have a patent you can license it to more than one company.
 
“…does one just get a patent and sell the product themselves or get a patent and sell the idea or patent to the company and they can sell the product and i can collect royalties …”  
- A patent gives you the right to sue others for infringing your claimed invention.  What you choose to do with that right is up to you.”
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Bill Richards
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Re: patent/idea
« Reply #2 on: Jun 19th, 2006, 5:14am »
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A couple of additions to Richard's excellent response.
While one can license to more than one company, many, if not most, companies will want an exclusive license to cut down on their competition.  In the alternative, they would want some sort of exclusivitity (geographical, e.g.).
Just because one has a patent does not give them the right to go out and sell the patented product.  Depending upon the product, even thought it's patented, it may still infringe on another's patent.  Patents give one the right to exclude others, not the absolute right to sell the product.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
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Re: patent/idea
« Reply #3 on: Jun 19th, 2006, 10:58am »
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wow, thank you both for your replies.  very helpful, but it would be great to sit down with a patent lawyer and talk to him/her one-on-one.
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JimIvey
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Re: patent/idea
« Reply #4 on: Jun 19th, 2006, 11:22am »
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Just to elaborate on Bill's elaboration of Richard's post, you can get a little creative about how to divie up "exclusivity".  One successful inventor I heard speak had a labeling techology and had divided "exclusive" rights into many market categories -- canned foods, bottled beverages, pharmaceutical bottles, toys, automotive (anything in round cans), etc.  The bottom line was that makers of drug/vitamin bottles didn't care of toys in round cans used the same technology.  Or, at least, when confronted with a menu of all these areas, each with a respective price tag, they tended to scale back their order of exclusivity to their own particular market niche.
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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