It can be quite an ordeal sometimes to receive patent approval from the United States Patent Office. However some inventors do not realize that simply receiving a patent does not generate any income. How you decide to utilize your patent will determine how you will make money on it.
One of the most common ways inventors capitalize on their patents is to license them. A license allows someone other the inventor to sell the invention. Many inventors prefer this method because they do not have to invest in producing their invention. The drawback of a license is the inventor receives less profit than if he went into business for himself. It is highly recommend that you contact a lawyer to draft or review a licensing agreement. There is no mandatory license agreement required by law so an attorney would be very helpful for negotiation of the contract and including the proper language to protect your invention.
Patent owners can also assign their patent rights to someone. An assignment fully transfers ownership of a patent, although you can assign a part of the interest in the patent (50%, 25%, etc.). Think of it as selling your patent or selling part of the ownership. Assignments much be recorded with the US Patent Office and a follow a few requirements the Office dictates. Inventors pursue assignments for similar reasons as licenses.
You can of course decide to produce your invention yourself. Again you will require an attorney to help you bring your product to market. You will need to draft contracts with your manufacturer and retailer. If you want to create a company to sell the product you will need an attorney to help you create the companies documents and to register with your State. Going into business for yourself has the most risks but produces the most rewards.
Some patent owners never produce their inventions. Instead they wait for someone else to infringe their patent and sue for damages. Monetary awards for patent infringement can be quite high, but there is no guarantee a patent owner will win. Additionally a large percentage of cases settle outside of a trial. Litigating patent infringement requires minimal effort from a patent owner but will be expensive in attorney’s fees.
Every patent owner can defend themselves against infringers. It is very important to continue a relationship with a patent lawyer in case infringement occurs. You are certainly not prevented from suing an infringer if you have marketed your product or licensed someone else to do so.
If you are considering how to capitalize on your patent, looking to submit a patent application, or you are being harmed by patent infringement you can contact Stone Law at 732-444-6303 or leave us a message on our website.