After developing your idea and going through the patent process, it may seem like your work is complete. While your patent may be an integral part of your business, you no longer have the burden of creating an idea.
Your patent, in many ways, is part of your life’s work. As you prepare your estate plan or get ready for retirement, you should consider the future of your patent and who you want to take over the license.
Here’s what you should know about giving your patent to someone else.
Keeping it in the business
If your patent is part of your business, you may want to consider someone within the company to take over managing the patent. Consider people who understand the patent well and who may be able to develop other related ideas.
Talk to the people in your organization about the responsibilities of maintaining the patent and decide if anyone seems suitable for the task. If there are certain conditions you want the new patent-holder to observe, make sure to outline your wishes.
My patent is part of my family
A patent can become part of your legacy. Depending on when your patent and what phase of your life you are in when you get it licensed, you may be able to pass on your license to the next generation.
As you create your estate plan, keep in mind what it will take to maintain the license on your patent and who in your family would be willing to take on that responsibility. Like other parts of your estate plan, you can include your patent in your will. Give clear instruction regarding who should take over the license and what they need to do to maintain it.
While you may be willing to maintain your patent, even after you retire, you should still think about what you want after you pass away. If you do not choose someone to take over your patent, it will follow your state’s rules of intestate succession.