Trading in patents can be profitable. Selling a patent, in whole or in part, is a viable option if it isn’t making money for you in other ways, or if you don’t have the capability to move your invention to the next step. There are two options for selling the intellectual property protected by a patent: outright sale and conveyance or licensing.

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How to Sell a Patent

The simplest way of turning your intellectual property into revenue is to sell the patent outright. As with every business transaction, preparation is the key to a successful patent sale. In order to sell an idea, you will have to prepare all the paperwork relevant to it, especially technical documentation.

The most time-consuming part of the process will likely be finding a buyer interested in your patent. How you locate a buyer will vary depending on the market sector. Some avenues include:

  • Attending trade shows
  • Contacting companies in relevant industries with sales offers
  • Advertising through the United States Patent and Trademark Office

When you are contacted by a potential buyer, make sure to work with an attorney to create a Patent Sale Contract that avoids ambiguities and inconsistencies. Above all, if you plan to use the patented invention in your business after the sale, ensure that the contract includes precise license terms that allow you to continue using the invention.

How to License a Patent

Licenses are an alternative way to sell an idea. When you sell a patent, you trade your idea and give up all of your rights to it. When you license a patent, you convey only certain rights to the buyer, allowing them to use your invention in their business under certain circumstances. The exact terms of the License Agreement will depend entirely on the type and category of patent you’re selling and the industry in which you’re working. Every agreement is different and must be tailored to the specific needs of both buyer and seller; it is a very good idea to engage an attorney during the drafting process. Unless you are an experienced lawyer specializing in intellectual property, the risks may be too high to go it alone.

We can help you find a lawyer to help you sell or license a patent.

Get started Create Your Patent Assignment Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Create Your Patent Assignment Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.