Many inventors ask the USPTO for advice regarding the licensing or marketing of inventions. While the USPTO cannot predict the marketability of any particular invention, there are resources for people who wish to license or sell the rights to their inventions.
You may already know that for a nominal fee—currently $25 for each published item—the USPTO will publish an announcement of patents and serial numbers available for license or sale. This publication occurs on the second Tuesday of each month in the Official Gazette for Patents. Contact Lamont Fletcher at 703-756-1558 or visit additional resources online.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gives applicants an additional license offer option with a new program for international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
As of January 2012, WIPO’s International Bureau maintains a register in which applicants can offer to license their inventions disclosed in international applications. Applicants may request that the WIPO International Bureau post indications of availability of patents for licensing purposes on its free PATENTSCOPE service.
Applicants will be able to submit licensing indications for any international application that has not exceeded the 30-month priority period. Requests for inclusion in the register may be made by submitting New Form PCT/IB/382, “Request for indication of availability for licensing purposes,” or by sending a letter to the WIPO International Bureau indicating that the claimed invention is available for licensing. The request may be included with a newly filed international application as an accompanying document, or it may be filed at a later date with the International Bureau.
The WIPO program is the result of a recommendation from the June 2010 meeting of the PCT Working Group. For more information about this exciting new benefit of filing an international application, please see the December 2011 PCT Newsletter.