The owner of a patent. controls the right to manufacture, use, sell, import and distribute the invention.  The owner of the patent usually licenses these rights to third parties, receiving a royalty or fee for the license.  However, there is no obligation to license the invention to anyone.  

Of course, for there to be royalties there must be a market.  Very few of the millions of patents that have been issued have been commercially successful.  Therefore, a business decision must be made prior to engaging in any patent research or application process to see whether there will be any money available at the end of the (very expensive) rainbow.

Patent rights also give the owner of the patent the right to sue a person or company that manufactures, imports, uses, imports or sells a similar device that "infringes" on the patent during the patent period.  That right to sue includes, in appropriate cases, statutory damages and attorneys' fees.

Law Offices of Douglas Clark Hollmann

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