I feel this is a very in-demand question that needs to be answered in detail, but before answering this question, there is a need to break this question up into two different precise questions based on the identity of the word “I” in “Can I sell a Patented Product?”. Is this “I” who is asking the question, is a Patent owner or someone else who is not the patent owner. So these two questions are “Can I sell my own patented product?” and “Can I sell someone else’s patented product?”
So before I answer all these two questions, I would just like to quote the exact right granted to a patent owner for an Invention. Having a patent doesn’t actually provide you a right to sell an invention, instead, a patent provides a right to the patent owner to exclude others from manufacturing, selling, using, importing, and offering for sale a product owned by him. Considering this correct interpretation of the patent holder’s right please find below the answers to both the questions.
CAN I SELL MY OWN PATENTED PRODUCT?
Yes, Of course you can sell your own patented product.
However please note, the correct answer is that you have the right to sell your own inventive concept/improvement in that product and not the whole product provided that product involves a few other technologies as well for its manufacturing, the concepts of which have actually been patented by someone else. I will take an example to explain my statement in more detail. Suppose you own a patent over a technology to manufacture an electric car. So you obviously now think of commercializing the electric car using the technology patented on your name. Though you have the right to do so, but it is needless to mention here that many inventors may have patents on technologies used in a basic car and it may be insurmountable for an electric car patent owner to manufacture his electric car without incorporating those technologies. For example, a car seat design, overall car design, maybe the break system, battery technology and the engine of that electric car. What I mean here is, that you are the patent owner of the technology you have invented to realize electrically driven automated vehicle, but the various designs and technologies which are eternally required to manufacture the car may be owned by someone else and there is a need to either buy or license those from them to avoid any infringement attacks in future, only if their patents are also active.
There is a need to add here that patent rights are territorial in nature. This means if you have a patent in a particular country, then you have the right to object to infringement of your patented technology in that particular country only, and not globally. That is why companies prefer getting a clearance/right to use/freedom to operate search done for all those countries in which they are planning to launch their product so that a list of those patent holders can be retrieved who may put infringement blames on them for using their patents without their consent. This preventive action avoids future infringement attacks that may be financially draining for a company. If proper care is not taken in advance to either take the approval of/license-in/to buy the patented technologies which you may be using in your final product, infringement cases may be filed against you by these patent owners for wrongly using their patents without their consent. And if you are found to be guilty in these filed cases, you may be forced to provide huge amounts of penalty amounts to the owners of these patents and maybe even forced to stop manufacturing of the product.
So there are a lot many things that need to be taken care of before manufacturing and launching a product which may involve multiple patented concepts because, as rightly said in the outset, every patent holder has the right to exclude others from manufacturing, selling, using, importing, and offering for sale a product owned by him.
CAN I SELL SOMEONE ELSE’S PATENTED PRODUCT?
No, you cannot sell someone else’s patented product without their approval in the same country in which that someone has registered the patent on his product.
However, Yes, you can sell someone else’s patented product without their approval in some other country in which that someone has not registered the patent on his product. Why: because patent rights are territorial in nature.
To sell someone else’s patented product in the same country in which that someone has registered the patent on his product, there is an unavoidable need to get approval from the patent owner. You can definitely sell someone else’s patented product in their country of registration if they themselves legally allow you to do the same, or if you are able to take their approval to sell their patented product, conditionally or unconditionally. The different ways of taking approval to sell someone else’s patented product is to license in or cross-license or buy the patented product from the owner through legal agreements. In case of licensing, the patent holder provides you the right to sell his patented product by earning a percentage of the amount on which the product is being sold each time in the market. This amount is termed as royalty. This mutually decided royalty is paid back to him every time his patented product is sold in the market. On the other hand, if a patented product is completely purchased from the patent owner, then the owner is paid a mutually decided amount at once based on the value of the patent to legally lose his rights over the patent to the buying party.
As an introduction, I am Founder and Director of Intellect Bastion [ https://www.intellectbastion.com/ ] which is Intellectual property Rights firm that helps Inventors around the world to legally protect their IP assets like Patents, Copyrights, Industrial Designs, and Trademarks. We have a big global clientele of Institutions/ Universities, businesses and law firms associated with us for IPR research, analytics, registration and consultation. To schedule a free personalized IP consultation on your visionary idea/invention, you can connect with me on my email id email@example.com or reach out to me directly on my call/ WhatsApp no. +91 9977007307.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. The information provided should not be considered attorney advertising. All information is current at the time of the publication and is subject to change. Since there are many factors and complexities that come into patenting an idea, the visitors of this website should not take any actions, or refrain from acting, based on information contained on this website without first consulting their own attorneys.