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I am looking at getting a patent but am having to go through a third party, which is a college to save money since I am a college student.

I was wondering, if I give half of the patent to the school and I have the other half what are the damages they could potentially do with their half of the patent if they decide to sell it or something else?

If they get half of the patent can they sell their portion to a larger cooperation and if they do would they be able to license it for their own manufacturing purposes? Or would another company have to have the full rights to the patent in order to use it? Also, if they have half of the patent, could they restrict you from doing manufacturing for your product with the other half if the other half decides to sell it?

Also, would they be able to use the other half of the patent to own half of your business by legal rights? Such as use their patent to get capital or a percentage from your company, if you are the one doing all the work with the business?

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    This question is really about contracts, not patents. Since we don't have your contract with the college to review, we can't advise you. You really should not rely on Q&A sites and other internet resources for specific legal advice. – Eric Shain Aug 3 '18 at 14:28
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If they get half of the patent can they sell their portion to a larger cooperation and if they do would they be able to license it for their own manufacturing purposes? Or would another company have to have the full rights to the patent in order to use it?

Yes, Yes, and No, as co-owners to a patent without an agreement the default is either party can license, sell and manufacture the patent without restriction and without consent of the other parties.

Also, if they have half of the patent, could they restrict you from doing manufacturing for your product with the other half if the other half decides to sell it?

No as a co-owners to a patent without an agreement you may license, sell and manufacture the patent without restriction and without consent of the other parties.

Also, would they be able to use the other half of the patent to own half of your business by legal rights? Such as use their patent to get capital or a percentage from your company, if you are the one doing all the work with the business?

Co-owners without an agreement must share in the accounting so for every dollar in profit they receive a share proportional to ownership (50% for 2 owners; 33.33% for 3; etc...) of it must go to you unless there is an agreement stating otherwise. They would only be entitled to profits derived from the patent, not ownership of the business.

  • What kind of agreements would we need for each of these? – Tanner G Roberts Aug 2 '18 at 19:14
  • I think some/many parts of this answer actually applies to co-inventors, not to co-owners. The answer fits the case of the particular type of co-ownership that occurs automatically between co-inventors, except for the last part about sharing accounting. – George White Aug 2 '18 at 23:12

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