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Let's suppose that there are many companies that are potential marketers for a new invention. Why would an inventor only license out his invention to one of these companies? Wouldn't he make the most profit by licensing out to all companies interested?

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    This is likely out of scope for the site, but a leading company with an exclusive license could easily more lucrative for a patent owner under many market conditions.
    – George White
    Aug 15, 2022 at 15:14

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Off topic, but I'll answer anyway. This is really a business decision. A company would almost certainly be willing to pay far more for an exclusive license than if they would face competition with a non-exclusive license. If there are enough competitors it might make the license not worth paying for at all. There may be an optimum number of licenses. Also, licensing can be exclusive or semi exclusive to specific markets such US versus EU versus Asia.

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  • And can be field of use exclusive in a single market. For the licensee to be able to enforce the patent (a valuable right you could negotiate for), it would need to exclusive exclusive - in the U.S.
    – George White
    Aug 15, 2022 at 20:46

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