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What is a Patent License?

Have you invented a product, service, or idea that, you believe, is so original and beneficial that it has the potential to generate net profit? Are you the inventor of something, and do not want other entities to create the same thing (or similar)? If so, you should consider a patent license.

A patent license is one of the most valuable assets a creator, inventor, or company can own. Patents protect creations and ideas. Furthermore, they enable the creator to license the patent to another entity; thereby, generating profit. To get a patent license, you will need to file an application, and this can take time. Although you can file a patent with the USPTO on your own, it is inadvisable to do so. One small error or misunderstanding could result in lost time, lost money, and loss of a potential patent. You should hire a patent lawyer to help you. 

Patent lawyers are required to pass a second Bar Exam which details many specific criteria related to patents. This includes the legal and ethical obligation to keep all patent-related information confidential. When you explain your patent to a patent lawyer, he or she cannot legally share it with anyone who is not involved with the process. In regards to confidentiality, you do not need to feel concerned about filing a patent with a patent lawyer.

Your Patent License

After receiving a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office, you will have the right to do the following with your product. 

  • Make,
  • Manufacture,
  • Develop,
  • Distribute,
  • Export/Import, or
  • Sell

In short, it is your right to control these things. You can also transfer some or all of the aforementioned to another entity. Known as lending, this enables you to own the patent while allowing another party to partake in the above list. By lending your patent, you can generate income. Before you do any of this, you should have a patent license. Do it yourself patent application forms are available; however, a patent application must include specific details that, without legal knowledge, you may not be aware of. 

Your Patent License

If you choose to license your patent, you will have the right to decide which rights the licensees will have access to. You can also include the time they have to retain these rights, as well as, any fees or percentage of profits. Once the licensing contract is expired, you can choose whether or not you want to continue the agreement, modify it, or terminate it. 

Three Primary Types of License Agreements

There are many different patent license agreements; however, the following are the most common:

Non-Exclusive License – This license will provide the licensee with select rights; however, you retain the right to rent your patent to another party or use it for yourself. 

Sole License – Only you, or your company, will use the patent in addition to one licensee. 

Exclusive License – Your licensee will obtain full rights to use the patent. You nor any other party will be able to use the patent while the contract is valid. 

There are benefits to each license, and these can be explained by a patent lawyer. It is also possible to grant licensing rights to specific geographical areas. To learn more, please call a trademark lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC