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I provided a $3000 investment to a friend for her patent application.

The patent has since been...
I provided a $3000 investment to a friend for her patent application. The patent has since been issued and likely been infringed upon.

I wrote a contract (which my friend signed) entitled "Assignment of Limited Partners Interest" specifying the percentage I would get if an infringement lawsuit was won.

My friend also wanted me to have equal rights to negotiate with attorneys and/or the infringing companies because she was tired of dealing with them. So, I wrote in the contract that I would have Power of Attorney and equal rights to negotiate etc.

My friend now claims that my entire contract is unenforceable because it was against Contract Law to include Power of Attorney in it. She claims that Power of Attorney would make me a General Partner rather than a Limited Partner, and because the contract is entitled incorrectly and also because I did not follow proper protocol to gain Power of Attorney, the ENTIRE contract is void.

Is her claim true? Is my entire contract unenforceable and void for this reason?


-Keith
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
7/4/2012
LawHelpNow
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
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Hello,

Thank you so much for this opportunity to try and be of service to you today.

Wisdom...compassion..empathy. These are more than words for me. They are my promise to you.

I am a licensed attorney and will do my best to provide you an honest and accurate answer to your important legal question.

QUESTION: "Is her claim true? Is my entire contract unenforceable and void for this reason?"

ANSWER: First of all, please allow me to take a moment and say that I am genuinely sorry for all you have been through with this ordeal. I mean every word of that, and I deeply regret the obvious serious obstacles occasioned by this situation. Here is how this works. There are two issues here. First, merely including language referencing power of attorney will not suffice, I am afraid to say. Rather, an enforceable power of attorney requires compliance with the statutory formalities: California Probate Code §§ 4400-4409 and 4450-4465. Secondly, a contract can fail but there is way around it by including this type of language: Savings (Severability) Clause. So, it all comes down to the precise wording in most part, meaning your very best next step would be to have your contract reviewed by local legal counsel.


I truly hope all works out for you.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
What I mainly want to know if the Power of Attorney is not accepted because I didn't follow the proper protocol by not having to witness and a notary public does that void the other parts of the contract pertaining to my investment for the patent. The Power of Attorney and my investment deal are both on the same contract and I was told that if one one part of the contract is void then the other part must also be void.

Hello again,

Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.

You are quite welcome -- my pleasure to be of some service!

I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.

Kindly just let me know if you are having any problem with submitting your favorable rating (acceptance) of my answer on the honor system. I would be glad to help out if so or ask our support team for assistance if needed. I mention this only because I have seen some confusion and the last thing I want is to see you encounter any frustration.

QUESTION: "What I mainly want to know if the Power of Attorney is not accepted because I didn't follow the proper protocol by not having to witness and a notary public does that void the other parts of the contract pertaining to my investment for the patent. The Power of Attorney and my investment deal are both on the same contract and I was told that if one one part of the contract is void then the other part must also be void."

ANSWER: Sure, and apologies on my part for not better explaining. Unfortunately, both sentences in your follow-up post are correct. In other words, based on your description the power of attorney fails and the entire contract is void. I would love to say otherwise, but I just respect you too much to do you the disservice of misleading you or providing false information, even when the means being the bearer of entirely correct although admittedly discouraging news. Neither you or I made this law, and very often I personally disagree with it, but nevertheless that is the truthful reality.

Take care and thanks again for choosing our service!

Join thousands of satisfied customers by adding me to your bookmarks/favorites: LawInfoNow. Just type your future question in the text box to direct it to my personal attention.

LawHelpNow
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Relist: Incomplete answer.
You only answer one of my questions which was Power of Attorney. I accept that I will not be able to keep Power of Attorney but losing Power of Attorney does that mean that I lose the second part of the contract which is the my percentage agreement to the patent.
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