Should I sell my patent to a company? 3 Answers as of August 13, 2011A person from some corporation is trying to "buy" a patent from me. The thing is, that this person does not show up in that website as one of its corporates, this persons has at least another 3 separate corporations (as VP, etc) Why this person would use one of his/her corporations to "buy" my granted U.S. patent? Why so many corporations? What if his/her corporation "X" cease to work, after I "selling" my patent?
Devon & Associates | Marcia A. Devon
I recommend doing a background/due diligence check on the prospective buyer(s) to answer some of the questions you have raised. In general, it is not uncommon for an individual to be involved, or invested in, more than one corporation. There may a number of business and legal reasons why the corporation would like to buy your patent, the most obvious one being they want to sell your patented product. If your buy/sell legal documents are drafted properly, they would address the issue of what happens if the corporation files bankruptcy or stop selling the product. I always seek to obtain as large a down payment as I can when I draft license or purchase agreements. If the buyer is actually purchasing your patent outright, instead of licensing (analogous to renting your home rather than buying it), I would seek to have the entire amount paid upon transfer of title to the patent. You should be aware than most individual inventors find it difficult to interest investors, licensees and buyers, so you are ahead of the game already.
Answer Applies to: California
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
If you are selling patent rights you should be represented by counsel. Your counsel will investigate whether the offer is legitimate and will negotiate an agreement that protects you. It is common for consortium of companies to buy up patent rights through corporations. Beyond this general advice I cannot help you unless you provide much more information. In the final analysis you cannot handle this without hiring an IP lawyer
Answer Applies to: New York