How to Buy Patent Rights

By Jennifer Williams

Companies make millions every year by manufacturing patented items, but before the first dollar of profit is made, the manufacturer must secure rights to the patents themselves. The manufacturer must either develop and patent the items or buy rights to existing patents. Finding patents that fit the manufacturer's need is critical. Once identified, the seller and buyer must transfer the patent rights and register the sale with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Find a Patent to Purchase

Step 1

Choose the patent to purchase by reviewing current and back issues of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Official Gazette, a weekly publication announcing newly issued patents. Individual announcements include patent rights owner contact information and a basic schematic of the patented invention. Contact the patent owner, ask if she is willing to sell her rights in the invention and negotiate terms for the purchase.

Step 2

Browse patent auction house listings, either in hard copy or online if a suitable patent isn't available directly from the inventor through the Gazette. Identify the patent you want to buy and study the auction procedures for the particular auction house holding the rights. Begin bidding for the patent according to the rules of the house.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now

Step 3

As an alternative to finding patents through the Gazette or auction houses, contact attorney members of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and inquire about patents that fit your needs. AIPLA members represent patent right owners as part of their practice and often know of patents available for sale or owners who might be willing to sell. If you reach attorneys who do not have this information, ask for referrals to colleagues who might.

Buy the Patent Rights

Step 1

Draft a sales contract, or conveyance, for the patent. Describe the patent in a way that adequately identifies the specific patent being transferred. Include all sales terms, including purchase price, terms and date of payment, and the date of transfer of rights from seller to buyer. Alternatively, retain a patent attorney to draft the sales contract or use a pre-printed form available from an online legal document provider.

Step 2

Sign, or execute, the conveyance in the presence of a notary public. Both seller and buyer should sign in the presence of the notary and in the presence of each other to ensure proper notarization of the document.

Step 3

File the notarized conveyance with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office within three months of its execution. As with a mortgage on real estate, filing the conveyance makes the transfer of rights public record.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
How to License a Patent & Royalties
 

References

Related articles

How to Transfer a Trademark

A trademark is a brand name. The brand can include a word, a symbol, a device or a combination of those elements. A trademark becomes valuable when consumers associate the brand with certain goods or services. Trademarks can be sold and transferred from one owner to another through a process known as assignment. The process involves creating an assignment agreement and recording the agreement with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

How Do Patent License Negotiations Work?

A patent is a bundle of rights representing a temporary legal monopoly on a work of technology that is novel, useful and inventive. A patent owner may keep his patent to himself, or he may assign or license it. While a patent assignment represents an outright sale of patent rights, a patent license represents the transfer of partial, temporary or nonexclusive rights.

What Happens When You Violate a Patent?

Patent rights are so important the founding fathers mentioned them in the U.S. Constitution. This respect for patent rights encourages companies to develop new technologies because the courts may punish those who violate those rights. Such punishment is commensurate with the damages suffered by the owner of the patent.

Start here. LegalZoom. Legal help is here. LLCs. Corporations. Patents. Attorney help. Patents

Related articles

How to Write a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a formal patent application is expensive and time-consuming, and usually requires the services of an experienced ...

How to Get a Temporary Patent

A provisional patent offers some of the same protections of a non-provisional patent, such as legal protection of your ...

Legal Document That Protects the Rights of an Owner's Invention

The owner of an invention can protect his right to make, use and sell his invention by obtaining a patent. Once an ...

How to Fill Out a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a provisional patent application allows you to establish temporary patent protection without starting the patent ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED