Can you sell a joint patent with another company?

When you do joint research and development with another company, you may often share the resulting patent with the other party; e.g. each owns 50% of the patent.

What should you do if you want to sell or license such a shared patent in the future?

If you want to sell or license your interest in the patent, you must obtain the other party’s consent, at least under Japanese patent law. In other words, unless the other party agrees, you cannot monetize the patent by selling or licensing it.

Even if the other party agrees to let you sell its interest, the buyer is unlikely to be interested in such a joint patent.

So, you usually have to monetize it together with the other party. Or, first buy the other party’s interest and own all of it, and then monetize it.

As you can see, a joint patent has some restrictions for monetization. In some situations, you may have to share it. However, be sure to take these restrictions into consideration before making a decision.