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Re: licensing designs

Look up "patents" and "copyrights" on the internet -- I am sure you will find
lots of information. The patent office website is <<<uspto.gov>>>. The
following are some strictly personal observations, and are not offered as
being authoritative.

I have three patents on tabletop Boxmakers and know a little about the
subject. Historically, patents were very hard to defend in court -- most
patents failed when challenged -- I learned in engineering school in the 50's
that 90% of patents failed challenges. That changed in 1982 when the federal
appeals court rules changed for patent cases. Since then -- I believe, most
patents withstand challenges because the appeals court's decisions seem to
recognize the fact that patents are very important to the economy of our
country and it is better for the economy for the courts to uphold, rather than
shoot down patents. Otherwise, reasonable people would not seek patents.

1. If you think there is good sales and income potential -- it is probably
worthwhile getting a utility patent -- rather than a design patent. Design
patents are easier to get around.

2       You can file for a provisional patent application for something less than
$100 -- which, more or less locks up your idea for one year. You must then
file a regular application which will probably require the use of a lawyer --
the bill will run into the low thousands.

3       If you get the patent, you can expect a royalty from about 3% to 7% -- 5% is routine.

4       You should copyright the saying. That is cheap to do.

5  I do not know how to protect the knot -- probably a patent.

6       If you license the saying or the patent(s) -- be sure to get a minimum
royalty payment guarantee from the licensee (or else the license automatically
terminates), and some payment up front -- (six months anticipated royalty?)

7       The contract should include a term that you get all tooling and existing
finished and in-process materials if contract terminates.

8       See a lawyer for the contract -- but do not let the lawyer ruin the deal by
being too protective.

9       Keep us informed -- I am sure lots of people on the list would like to know
what happens

Helen Hiebert wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm looking for some advice on selling a design, which has 2 parts as I see
> it.
> My product is a wedding invitation, which I originally designed for my own
> wedding, and now others want to use two parts of it: 1. the shape, which
> folds up into an all-in-one sheet invitation (rather than having an invite,
> response card and two envelopes); and 2. a saying which my husband wrote and
> a knot which we tied in cord and attached to the invitation.
> I made my invitations in handmade paper. Now a small shop in the business of
> selling wedding invitations is interested in making a die of the shape and
> offering it in a variety of papers.
> Have any of you dealt with this type of contract/license with flat fees,
> royalties, etc.? I'd love your feedback.
> In addition, I've had some couples ask if they could reproduce the text and
> the knot -- I'm thinking I'll just ask for a flat fee from the couple for
> that. Again, I welcome you comments!
> Helen Hiebert
> HHiebert@aol.com
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Martin R. Carbone / 1227 De La Vina St. / Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tel: 805-965-5574 / Fax 805-965-2414 / email: mrcinc@silcom.com
Websites: http://www.modelshops.com and http://www.papershops.com and

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

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