How to Sell a Patent to Google

Rich Goldstein

Founder & Principal Patent Attorney
Person on their MacBook Pro with the Google search engine displayed on screen

Selling a patent to a tech giant like Google can be a game-changer, offering lucrative opportunities and recognition for your innovative ideas. However, navigating the complex process requires careful planning and strategic execution. 

This article serves as a guide on how to sell a patent to Google, providing valuable insights and actionable steps to maximize your chances of a successful transaction.

How to Sell A Patent to Google

Google’s Patent Purchase Promotion was a promotion run by Google in which inventors could submit their patents for potential purchase by Google itself. According to Google, the initiative aimed to simplify the process of selling patents and sought to eliminate the need to work with the United States Patent Office altogether. 

Google search engine on screen

Google’s experiment also provided valuable information about patent pricing. Many inventors participated in the program, and Google believes they may rerun the promotion and buy patents from the public once more. 

To sell your patent, you’ll need the help of a patent attorney. The patent process can be tough to tackle on your own. Some companies are called “patent trolls,” because they try to squash the competition using patent infringement claims. Patent trolls are something to look out for if you’re seeking to sell your patent, and even submitting successful patent applications can be a challenge.

Why Did Google Run the Patent Purchase Promotion?

Google provided these reasons for running the Patent Purchase Promotion:

“We view this as an experiment. We are looking for ways to help improve the patent landscape, and we hope that by removing some of the friction that exists in the secondary market for patents, this program might yield better, more immediate results for patent owners versus partnering with non-practicing entities.

Because this is an experiment, we wanted to keep it simple (for both us and the submitters). We fully acknowledge that not everyone with patents to sell will be willing or able to make use of this program, but if we get sufficient interest, who knows how we will be able to improve it for next time?”

While this promotion has ended and only ran for a limited time, Google will be starting it back up whenever they get the chance. Google agrees that small companies and inventors should have more opportunities like this. 

How Does Selling a Patent to Google Work?

The Google Patent Purchase Promotion had a limited submission window of just two weeks. Participating parties were asked to submit their patent information and requested sale prices using a unique, streamlined portal. However, Google did promise to prioritize responding to patent holders and pledged to provide prompt responses. 

After two weeks, Google announced to patent holders whether they were interested in purchasing. If Google were interested in your patent, a candidate would receive a “tentative interest to purchase” notification, requesting that they provide more information. They are also asked to sign an agreement. If Google remains interested after getting more information about the patent, a purchase contract will be signed, and payment will be made.

Lawyer explaining the documents to his client during their sit-down meeting

The promotion was open to certain holders of United States patents, with only one patent allowed per application. Families of patents were not permitted to enter. Patent holders were excited about the promotion as it allowed them to generate a return on their investment.

What Are the Legal Implications of Google’s Patent Purchase Promotion?

While the program aimed to simplify the patent-selling process, it still involved formal agreements with legal implications that could confuse the average person. We agree that Google emphasized how important it was for patent owners to consult with a patent attorney before participating. 

At Goldstein Patent Law, we know several factors to consider before selling a patent, such as the legally-binding nature of the submission, the “buy it now” price, and the non-negotiable purchase contract Google provides. Patent infringement lawsuits are common, so it’s best to be ahead of the curve and reduce the risk of any issues early on. Patent owners must seek legal advice to understand these implications, and our lawyers are here to help.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Patent My Intellectual Property?

Before you can sell a patent, you need to get a patent. But, patent applications can be tricky. Patent applications are best filled out with the help of a law firm. If you have a novel, non-obvious, helpful invention you’d like to consider for patent protection, schedule a free strategy call with Goldstein Patent Law today. Our firm will be happy to help you avoid a lawsuit, make the most of your licensing, and inform you of your patent rights.

  • First, your patent attorney can help you conduct a patent search for your inventions.
  • During a patent search, your lawyer searches for information about other patents online and in databases.
  • The purpose of the patent search is to check if your invention is unique enough from others to be granted its own patent. This helps you determine if your idea will be worthy of legal protection. A patent search helps mitigate the risk of copying someone else’s pre-existing invention.

Suppose you’re working on a nearly ready invention but still want to conduct more research. In that case, our patent lawyers can walk you through filing a provisional patent application. When you see “patent pending” on a product, it’s because a provisional patent has been filed. 

A provisional patent differs from a regular application, serving as a temporary placeholder for a complete patent. The patent office gives you one year to convert the provisional application into a complete patent application for your invention. 

Person on their MacBook Pro with the Google search engine displayed on screen

Related Questions

What Precautions Should I Take Before Trying to Sell a Patent to Google?

If you’re a patent owner, it’s up to you to decide if the offer aligns with your expectations. If your patent is too expensive or even overpriced, it could result in Google refusing to purchase it. With the help of a patent attorney, you can help decide your patent’s actual value and negotiate favorable terms. You should be prepared for due diligence reviews. Google scrutinized the patent’s ownership and condition before finalizing any purchases during the first run of this promotion.

What Are the Terms of Google’s Patent Purchase Program?

While the Google Patent Purchase Promotion has ended, reviewing their terms is essential in case the promotion starts back up soon.

  • To submit a patent to the Google Patent Purchase Promotion, you must agree to the submission terms and submit a completed form stating you did so. 
  • If Google did agree to buy your patent when the promotion was running, you must also agree to their Patent Purchase Agreement terms. 
  • From a legal standpoint, some lawyers feel these terms were not in the patent owner’s best interest.
  • Note that, according to these terms, you, as the patent owner, would be bound by whatever offer you made to Google for your patent. 
  • Despite that, they were free to get offers from however many other sellers they wanted during the promotion.

Should I Consult With a Lawyer Before Participating in Google’s Patent Purchase Program?

Even Google recommends consulting a lawyer before submitting to their Patent Purchase Program. When seeking representation, patent owners should ensure they work with a lawyer who specializes in patent law, understands the ever-changing patent sales market, has deep knowledge of Google’s practices, and is licensed to practice law in your state. 

Goldstein Patent Law offers a free strategy call for patent owners like you who may be interested in participating in the Google program if it comes around again. We’d be happy to provide legal representation throughout the process. We can even find other areas of opportunity for selling your patent if the Google program is not a good fit.

Conclusion

Selling a patent to Google can be a transformative experience, providing financial rewards and industry recognition. By diligently researching and preparing your patent portfolio, leveraging professional networks, and effectively showcasing the value of your invention, you can increase the likelihood of capturing Google’s attention and negotiating a favorable deal. 

Remember, persistence, strategic marketing, and a clear understanding of Google’s needs and priorities will be vital to realizing your goal of selling your patent to this tech giant.

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