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Father has a patent and he is now under court appointed from state. What happens to his patent? I have the prototype in my possession.

  • Patented inventions do not need to be manufactured to allow the patent to exist. A user here may be able to help lend some guidance, but ultimately, if you're looking to take control over the patent, you'll probably want to seek legal counsel from a patent attorney. – Matthew Haugen May 14 '16 at 7:21
  • If you can provide the patent number, we can tell you the status of the patent. – Eric Shain Dec 13 '16 at 0:06
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A patent is a piece of property like other pieces of property in many respects. It isn't clear from the question what sort of situation your father is in, but in two general cases the outcome is quite different. If your father has a court appointed guardian because he is not able to make decisions for himself, then barring something specifically controlling this situation in the court order or other document, that person has control over the patent much like the person would over a car or house. If your father is under a bankruptcy proceeding, then it is largely the same, however patents are often sold off to satisfy creditors or the patent may be transferred to a creditor to satisfy outstanding debts. All of these questions are likely determined under state law or federal bankruptcy law and you probably need an attorney in your jurisdiction to help you understand your rights.

In either case, it is unlikely that you have any special rights unless they are granted to you by some document in the proceeding. Ownership or control of the prototype won't have any impact on who owns the patent.

This all assumes the patent is an issued patent. If it is still an application, or if there are child applications still pending, there are a number of special rules that may come into play in order to ensure the continued prosecution of the patent, however if you have no ownership rights, then you are unlikely to be a entitled to anything under any of these rules.

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