When an individual owns a patent, he or she doesn't have to necessarily hold onto the patent for ever. Some patent rights are purchased by someone else who may be able to put the patent to better use. If you are interested in purchasing a patent, there are several steps you should take to do so.
Determining Patent Ownership
The initial owner of a patent is the inventor. The owner is referred to as the patent applicant. In some cases, the applicant might be different from the inventor. For example, if a company owns the rights to the invention and an employee invents a product, the inventor and the applicant would be separate.
Transferring Rights to an Employer
To let the public know about this, the patent applicant files a patent assignment that is signed by the inventor. The assignor gives away rights and the assignee receives rights to the patent. The patent assignment needs to state that all continuing applications belong to the assignee.
One problem is that the inventor might leave the company. For this reason, the applicant needs to file a patent assignment as soon as possible. If the company fails to do so, it will be harder to prove that the company should own the patent and more evidence will need to be provided.
Finding a Patent to Purchase
If you would like to purchase a patent, you will need to find the patent to a particular product. There are several places where patent holders place advertisements for patents that you can search if you are simply looking for a patent to purchase to develop a product. You can often find patents that could be purchased at industry trade shows. Also, if you speak to an invention to patent company or a patent attorney, they may be aware of a patent holder who is looking to sell a patent.
Executing the Purchase of the Patent
Communicate with the patent holder to find out which patent rights will be negotiated. Draft an agreement. Then, have the agreement signed by both you and the patent holder, and make sure that the signatures are notarized. The assignment then needs to be recorded to the USPTO. This must be done within three weeks of the day that you sign the agreement. You will also need to pay a fee. Then, you will have the right to use the patent.
To learn more about patents, contact an invention patent company.