Wanna Buy A Wind Power Patent? Just Go to eBay

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Fellow green patent enthusiast Stu Soffer brought this interesting item to my attention (Thanks Stu!):  an eBay auction for the rights to a small wind turbine patent.  The patent is New Zealand Patent No. 540102, and includes the international rights to PCT Application Pub. No. WO 2006/123951 (‘951 application).

The ‘951 application is directed to a wind turbine having a rotor (1) having blades, the rotor rotatably mounted about the axis of rotor shaft (2) within housing (3).  Directional louvers, or shutters (15, 17), direct incident airflow to enhance the venturi effect and reduce drag for maximum power generation.

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Though at first glance it appears the seller is only auctioning the rights to the patent application, the description of the transaction reveals that a purchaser would get substantially more than that (or less, depending on your point of view).  In fact, the purchaser would also buy an obligation to enter into a partnership with the inventor:

What is being sold is the US rights to patent protection vested in a company substantially owned by the purchaser. The purchaser will have written authority from the inventor to assign the US intellectual property rights to the new company. All the inventor requires apart from the purchase price is a small shareholding of 10% of the shares in the new US company as a silent partner that the buyer will create by agreement, and acknowledgement that the invention was created by the inventor at all times. 

The seller is offering free shipping, although what this means in this context is not entirely clear.  Would the buyer receive in the mail the patent application?  A prototype of the invention?  An executed assignment?

The opening bid price is USD $27,500.  The auction ends on June 24, 2009, and there have been no bids so far.

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.