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Messages - Brad

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If you are filing as an individual you may qualify for "micro entity" which means you only pay $65 to file the provisional.  To see if you qualify check out this calculator (created by me):

If its "Joint IP" that means you both own it and if they fail to meet their end of the deal your license with them is terminated (including your exclusive license to the joint IP) and you are then free to license the original IP and your undivided interest to the joint IP that you jointly own with them.    Ideally your first patent is "domineering" meaning that even if you both co-own the joint IP the company who you dumped could not still make or sell it without your license. 


From my experience doing licensing work on early-stage technologies (about 10 years of experience) it is standard for the patent owner to retain ownership of the ORIGINAL idea.  However, Joint IP usually means further improvements or tweaks that are bound to be created as they further develop the product.  Under this Joint IP it makes sense for both of you to own it jointly since you were both involved in the process of creating these new tweaks.   Now, the next question is what do do with the joint IP.   If they are giving you a fair deal and paying you for the orignal idea its common for them to have exclusive rights to the Joint IP and they just continue to pay you a royalty on sales related to the joint IP.  If you waned to be pushy you could say joint IP is jointly owned but they will pay for the patent and you can use and license your interest to whoever you want (we call this the "free rider" where they pay the bills and you do what you want with it including possibly licensing it to their competition).  Clearly people don't like free riders so if they are being fair to you I would not push for this.   

So bottom line is either they buy your idea out-right through a IP purchase agreement, or you license it to them where you retain ownership of the ORIGINAL IP (sometimes called "Background IP" in agreements).  You should also be able to terminate the license agreement if they are not living up to their end of the deal (i.e. they just put the product on the shelf and don't try to make or sell it).

There are plenty of good licensing attorneys who can help you with this but they are expensive (usually $400+ per hour).

First of all is this a "real" company or is it an invention help or invention marketing firm?   If its an invention marketing company a standard line is they say it will cost them all this money to bring your product to market and then they ask you to pay them $10,000 - $20,000 for development, etc.

If its a real company they will not ask you to pay anything and they will take on on the risks.  In that case you can either retain ownership of your patent and give them a license to use it, or, you can work out a sale arrangement where you would sell them your patent or patent application.   The sale or license price is up to you and what you think is fair.  A common arrangement may be an upfront fee of some amount (say $10,000 to you) plus a small (2-5%) royalty on any product sold by them that is covered by your patent.   (these are just rough estimates and this is not legal advice)

That seems to be more of a business/strategy question so I can't really answer that and it would depend on your product and market plus your goals.

In general though you could label and market your new idea as "patent pending" once the provisional has been filed. 

Thanks Eric!

The patent you found was a "utility" patent.   Design patents have a patent number that start with a "D".

According to Google that patent is still active

Patents usually last for 20 years from the date they were filed, however, if people don't pay the fees every 3.5 years the patent can go abandoned and then it would be free for people to use. 

Yes.  Sorry I should update that page.

If the "other person" signed a CDA or NDA than that would not be a public disclosure and you could possibly refile.  Note the risks of refiling those as mentioned in this post:

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: PPA from two foreners and US LLC
« on: March 28, 2017, 08:24:10 AM »
1) you have all of the forms needed to file
2) German address is okay
3) If you want the patent to be owned by the LLC, you must record an "assignment agreement"

If you need to get more specific information from me I would ask you at least sign up for our Basic Package here:
(note that we don't offer any support or packages for the assignment but we can record it for you for $150)

One way around this is to describe the invention or object by example.   So you can write:

In some examples the invention does A, B, C


In some embodiments, the invention does X, Y, Z

1)  The conference paper would be "prior art" the date it was put online or made public (usually a few months before the conference)

2)  The United States is now a "First To File" country meaning that whoever files the patent first wins.

Marketing, Licensing, and Selling an Invention / Re: Product Name
« on: March 18, 2017, 05:55:46 AM »
No.  There is no protection for a name based on what is used in the PPA.

Without knowing more its hard to give specific advice but in general I would try to get protection on the device itself and simply say that it may, in some cases, be attached or coupled to the widget.   

Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Issued past patent
« on: March 16, 2017, 01:33:27 PM »
You should be able to search by "assignee name" for companies here:


Patent Questions and Advice / Re: Provisional Patent Drawings
« on: March 12, 2017, 12:44:35 PM »
Photos are okay for the provisional (but not ideal).  The patent rules say you should use black and white line drawings.   A good patent draftsman should be able to convert photos to proper patent drawings for about $30-$50 per photo. 

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