I want to make and sell my own electric guitars. However, I have not invented the instrument, nor was I the inventor of any of the major advances in the field. However, I have some changes (mostly aesthetic and stylistic) in mind before selling the guitars to the public in Washington state of the USA.

Do I have to pay the inventors of the components on an electric guitar (such as pickups or dials) or take a lease from them or their equivalent corporate identities in order to make and sell a guitar that draws heavily from existing models by other brands?

  • 2
    This sounds too close to requesting details of the specific patents involved in a elec guitar, which shouldn't be on-topic. You might like to visit Ask Patents instead. – curiousdannii Jun 7 '15 at 3:33
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic. It should be migrated to Patents.SE. – feetwet Jun 8 '15 at 13:46
  • How do I close this question? – OneFabric Jun 9 '15 at 19:58

From the USPTO, by law, a patent is:

the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States.

If you want to make, use, or sell something covered by an active patent then you have to secure the patent owner's approval or else they can use the courts to stop and/or fine you for violating their right. A patent owner can grant a license to use an active patent on any terms he desires, or not at all.

However it is unlikely that anyone will volunteer to conduct a search to look for active patents your specific application may infringe. There are paid specialists who do that for those who don't feel confident doing it themselves.

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