Re: ever lasting patent?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 12th, 2007, 2:29pm »
on Aug 12th, 2007, 9:51am, starz1 wrote:
|Like when Einstein invented the lightbulb, are his heir's still getting royalities on his inventions? |
"Did we give up after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"
|So if I have a design patent that lasts 14 years, how could I keep that patent going forever? |
For a patent, you can't. I'm not sure how Sanrio ("Hello Kitty") operates; most likely a matter of copyright, like Mickey Mouse.
| How can you keep your patents going? |
You can keep improving the product, file new patent applications and hopefully get patents on the improvements, and continue to earn royalties on the sales of the improved products, however. Or you can drop prices to prevent competitors from profitably moving in on your product line after the initial patents expire.
This mostly relates to utility patents, though. I don't know how one would go about "improving" a design patent; hopefully someone with experience in design patents can discuss whether that's possible.
One company I am aware of has licensing agreements on its utility patents that require the licensees to continue to pay royalties long after expiration (possibly permanently, I forget) if they want to license the patents today -- of course, the licensees could just wait until expiration and leap in without paying anything. However, that company has not turned a profit in something like forty years of operations, and in my opinion is an IP scam.