How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Richard - Bizlaw Your Own Question
Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 9720
Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Richard - Bizlaw is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Suppose someone created a technology based product based on

This answer was rated:

Suppose someone created a technology based product based on several companies ideas and intellectual property. Also suppose this someone is reaching a critical point where he needs outside help on the programming to finish this product (he wants to finish it for his own personal use, but wouldn't mind benefiting from it commercially). Would it be better to approach the companies, ask for permission to use their material, finish developing it, and then demonstrate the product and ask for royalties or would it be better to pay an attorney 2500 retainer to investigate it for me with an open ended no solution guarentee? Any thoughts, opinions?
When you say you want it for personal use, did you buy the products on which it is based? How would you exploit it commercially?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes I did buy the products. How I would exploit it is what I am trying to figure out. I would possibly propose to the company to help me sponser this software. I would try to get a royalty for developing it. I want the product to be something that a customer would pay a monthly fee for using. My hope is I could go to them with a turn key product and say look...the hosting costs this, these are the other projected misc expenses, and ask for a small royolaty percentage.

Normally, where you develop a unique property which is protectable by patent or is some other form of protectable intellectual property based on the intellectual property of another, you seek to negotiate a royalty you pay to the holder of the underlying intellectual property based on what you propose to sell it for. The other way is to charge the other companies a royalty for use of your intellectual property. It sounds like you are thinking of the latter approach. What you should do is finish your development so you have a completed product and then approach the companies involved.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When you say charge for use of my intellectual property that assumes what I have created is protectable. If it is not then wouldn't I expose myself to risk of the companies just basically stealing my idea. I mean if I have violated their rights by creating a derviative work they can say I committed a wrongful act in the first place can't they and say you should pay us for what you've done. Maybe that's extreme but I think you see what I'm getting at.

If your addition is not protectable as intellectual property you do not have anything. You only have a derivative work if you created something. If not you have nothing to steal. You only violate their rights if you use their product that is outside the license.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.


I understand you're saying I have nothing to steal if I haven't created a derivative work but I never got permission to create the derivative work. I'm sorry to take too much of your time I just want to be clear. My fear: company likes my idea, but I'm not able to patent it or obtain any protection after I've finished developing and I've spent money on developing, company says you're not protected we'll just take this and develop an alternative version based on the demo you gave us and then all my work was for naught as far as profiting from it goes.

If you sold the product without ever going to the company anybody could copy it and use it if was not protected. So unless you can copyright or patent your work, all you have is something you can use for yourself because anybody can copy it once it is put on the market.


If this answer is responsive to your question, please accept it. That is how we are compensated. I would also be appreciated if you provided feed back on your view of the answer. Finally, if the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus. If I can be of further assistance or you have other questions in the future you can ask for me and reach me at this site.
This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

In that case I should find out if what I have done is patentable or protectable.


Ok, one more concise there a way to ask for permission to create a derivative work with the sole purpose of benefiting the profits of company with a small royalty worked in. Like a derivative protection status or something like that?

Your development work does not infringe anyone's rights. It is only when you try to sell it does that happen. Until you have developed your product and determined if it is protectable there is no point in contacting the company. Once you know where you stand, you can then start your negotiations.


Richard - Bizlaw and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Business Law Questions