Mandeville, LA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Louisiana

Q: If there is one person as the inventor on a patent and is deceased are his children entitled to any royalties off of it

Let's say several of these items are sold and one of the inventors is deceased does his children entitled to receive any royalties then and as of now

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: I am sorry that your inventor/parent has died. I hope he lived a full life and left you with many fond memories.

If the inventor worked for an employer, the chances are good that the inventor/employee assigned rights over to the employer and is not entitled to royalties. (Just like if you sell your beach house, you cannot expect to be paid rent). If the employer paid someone to invent things, the employer often does not pay royalties on those inventions.

You can search at https://assignment.uspto.gov/patent/index.html#/patent/search or using USPTO Public PAIR to look for assignment records.

If the inventor simply sold items that were made on the patented invention, then the inventor would be compensated by the profit on those sales and there would not be royalties on those sales.

There may be royalties if the inventor had an agreement to be paid royalties with the employer (not very common) or if the inventor licensed the patent rights to others. Royalties may be due from those who used the patented idea without a license to do so. However, obtaining those royalties may require that the owner of the patent sue to recover a reasonable royalty.

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