Texas inventors who have received a patent may wonder what the next step will be to get their new product to market. Many individuals or small companies do not have the resources or facilities to manufacture a product. Fortunately, another area of patent law can help inventors partner with companies who do have the facilities and equipment an inventor needs without jeopardizing their patents.
In order to protect themselves, inventors (licensors) can enter into manufacturing agreements with other companies. These agreements give the manufacturer (licensee) permission to use the patented material for the limited purpose of producing and distributing the product. In return, the inventor would receive certain considerations such as royalties during the term of the contract.
Each party's rights and responsibilities will need to be outlined as accurately as possible. For instance, the agreement will need to specify whether the licensee will be the only company allowed to manufacture and market the product. Giving this right to the manufacturer could impose certain limitations on a licensor. Therefore, a licensor may want to negotiate additional compensation to account for this restriction.
This is just one issue that would need to be fully addressed in the agreement in order to protect the inventor. Manufacturing agreements can be complex and a Texas inventor contemplating entering into such a contract should have an attorney representing his or her interests. If you have a patent, then you are most likely already aware of the fact that patent law can be confusing and frustrating to navigate. After going through the painstaking effort needed to secure a patent, you will most likely need advice and assistance regarding how to make it work best for you.