Staunton, VA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia

Q: As first to invent/first to file in '08, without attaining patent, what IP rights do I have? An OEM is using my IP.

I had to abandon Non-Provisional application due to finances during the 2008-2011 recession. Took product to prototype and sold a couple of units. Shared with an OEM in 2012 in hopes of engaging them in production process. They expressed no interest. Yet, one of their engineers has just informed me that they have been using this idea now for about five years. Can I insist that they cease and desist use, or pay me a license fee or royalty on units sold?

1 Lawyer Answer
Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel

A: Unfortunately, your intellectual property rights vest when the patent issues. Filing an application establishes the date from which you own intellectual property if it eventually vests, but unless the patent issues, you will never establish ownership over the invention. The invention is now in the public domain, which means that it is available for any public person or entity to use.

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