Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making money from your patent

Congratulations, after spending tens of thousands of dollars and suffering through years of tedious back and forth with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, you've finally got a patent with claims covering your invention!

Now that you've got the issued patent with the shiny seal in your hands, what are you going to do with it?

Frame it and hang it on your wall?

Sure.  But there are other ways to make money from an issued patent as well.

Sell it / Sell a portion of it
You're an inventor at heart and you want to keep inventing.  You don't want to go into the business of mass producing your invention, deal with the headaches of marketing, or devote time to after-sales customer support.  You can sell your patent to someone who is in the business of manufacturing, marketing and support.  For example, if your patent claims a new home renovation tool, you can sell your patent to Black & Decker for a lump sum payment and let them worry about manufacturing, marketing, and supporting the product.

License it
Similarly, you can license your patent to someone who is in the business of manufacturing, marketing and support.  For example, if your patent claims a new home renovation tool, you can license your patent to Black & Decker, and for each tool they sell, you can get a certain percentage of the profit as a royalty.

Exclusive right to make, use or sell
For 20 years after your patent's filing date, your patent gives you the exclusive right to make, use, or sell your invention.  If any of your competitors infringe on your claims by making, using, or selling a product in Canada which falls within the scope of the claims in your patent, you can go to court and seek an injunction stopping them from ever infringing again, damages for your losses stemming from their infringement, all of their profits stemming from their infringement, delivery up of all their infringing inventory, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, court costs, and more.

And the best part is, none of the above prevents you from framing the patent and hanging it on your wall too.

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