You have come up with this fantastic idea for a product and applied for the patent rights to that product. Once you receive the patent, you are the sole owner of that idea for the length of time the patent covers that idea. Some people are in the business of idea creation and idea patenting, but never really want to produce the idea at all. These people are able to sell a patent in order to make money, but a careful process needs to take place in order to legally transfer the rights to a patent.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, offer a huge resource to the person wishing to sell a patent. From the legal ramifications to a step by step guide on how to sell a patent, the office is there to make sure all legal rights are transferred and to provide support for the patent buyer and the patent seller. When questions arise about the patent selling process, this is the first place the inventor should turn.
Selling Through An Online Patent Auction
The first place many patent sellers turn is the online auction. While eBay is the first auction site that many people think of when trying to sell their patent, there are other auction sites available through online communities dedicated to patent rights. A patent exchange program can prove invaluable to a patent buyer and seller.
The Patent Attorney
Many first time patent sellers will forget about the need for a US patent attorney. This attorney will be trained in the laws, rules and regulations surrounding the legal sale of a patent. If these rules are not followed the original seller may retain some rights to the patent later and for the buyer this can mean a lengthy legal battle for residual monies and rights down the road if the product sells and becomes popular. The patent attorney will also be able to help place value on the patent for sale purposes.
After a potential buyer has been found, the patent reassignment form will need to be filled out. This form applies to reassign the ownership of the patent to the new owner. The form will need to be filed with the USPTO. Sellers can find these forms online at the USPTO website or in any local field office.
After the paperwork is filed, all fees will need to be paid in full. The seller will need to contact the buyer and inform them of the maintenance fees and filing fees. In many sales, these fees are included in the purchase price of the patent.
The seller then only needs to wait for the final paperwork to be approved by the USPTO. This paperwork will then change hands when the monies are exchanged. In most cases, the patent attorney will hold the fees and monies in escrow before the USPTO paperwork is filed in order to protect the seller from a potential patent scam.