After supper, I went back to the inn in a good mood.
I gave the slimes the ale that I’d brought back, then Serge-san and I continued our conversation from earlier.
“Commissioning the music box would be best.” [Serge]
“I suppose that really would be the best way to go about it, isn’t it?” [Ryouma]
I can’t produce enough on my own and I don’t have any technical knowledge either. But then it begs the question, to whom should I commission it to? Serge-san and the Morgan Firm can take care of the sales, but what about the craftsman?
“I know many people we can ask, but for starters, how about trying Dinome-dono first? His skills are guaranteed and because of his work in the development of magic cars, he has some knowledge in magic tools like your music box. He also likes new things and he’s already met you before, so he should be much easier to deal with.” [Serge]
“But won’t it put too much burden on him?” [Ryouma]
“That would depend on how he goes about it, but I think it will be fine since he has three disciples under him. Moreover, your music box is really simple such that even someone like me could understand it, so I think there will be a lot of imitations once we introduce it to the market.
We can incorporate some countermeasures for that and patent the music box, but… Wait. I’ve already talked to you about this before with the water proof cloth, haven’t I?” [Serge]
Although he did give me an explanation about patents, it wasn’t really any different from Earth’s.
An application is submitted to the merchants guild, then once the guild has certified it, they will crack down on anyone who infringes upon the patent. But to that end, it will be necessary to reveal the materials and technique used to the entire artisan guild. Supervising the patent would be difficult without this step, so it’s not possible to refuse this step. Also, once the patent has been passed, anyone can then pay a fee to be able to use the technique or technology used legally.
But of course, it’s up to the rightful claimant whether to reveal his product to the public via a patent or keep it a secret. In the case of the waterproof cloth, I chose not to publicize the method since I could easily sell it through Serge-san. And in the case that people found out how to make it, well, that wouldn’t be too bad either since it would shed some light on the usefulness of the slimes.
“Should the music box sell well, I’m sure other people will start to make a move. But if we turn to Dinome-san, we will most likely be able to limit the possibility of being flooded with orders.” [Ryouma]
Serge-san wants to patent the music box, but…
“Is there something worrying you?” [Serge]
“I have to register at the artisans guild before being able to file a patent, right?” [Ryouma]
“Yes. That is correct.” [Serge]
“Although the only reason I will be registering to the guild is to allow me to apply for a patent, I am currently registered at the tamers guild, something I’m sure you’re well aware of. As such, even if I register, I won’t be able to accept any work. I don’t think it’s very nice for a person to be affiliated with an organization and not work…” [Ryouma]
The rimel birds can deliver letters, but there are experts that do the same job. And as for the slimes, well… nothing more needs to be said, really. Branch Head Taylor is very kind to me, but that just makes the guilt of not working even worse.
That’s why I want to work at least a little if I’m going to register myself, but frankly, I have my hands full just with the adventurers guild and the store already. I could probably get something done if I were to push myself, but the duke’s household told me not to push myself, so…
…I can’t believe I’m actually thinking like this.
Back in my previous life, I would just go “I can do it if I push myself a little? Then let’s get to it!”
I wonder if this is what it means to grow up.
“I know. Since I’m going to be commissioning the music box to another person anyway, maybe I can just ask that person to submit the application in stead?” [Ryouma]
“That’s… possible, but… UMUMU…” [Serge]
Serge-san suddenly held his head and appeared troubled.
“Anyone can serve as the applicant, but Dinome-dono… That man would surely say, ‘You think I can just claim someone else’s work!?’ and refuse.” [Serge]
So, it’s pride.
“Also, if someone else applies for the patent, then the holder of the patent won’t be you anymore, Ryouma-sama. In the worst case, he might take the profits for himself. What do you think about that?” [Serge]
“It would depend on the circumstances, but…” [Ryouma]
When you think about it, I don’t really have any right to the profits either. If anyone did have a right to it, it would be a person from a long long time ago. All I really did was imitate what he did and make it here. It just so happens that there’s no one to rebuke me for what I’ve done. A stroke of luck that happened to fall right into my lap without doing anything. A windfall even greater than that of the cleaner slimes.
As such, I’m not really that attached to the proceeds made from the music box. But at the same time, I also don’t have the pride or sense of justice to straight-up refuse any money made from it. In short, I’ll take what I can, and if there’s no income, then there’s none. I feel bad for Serge-san, but this is how I personally view things.
Hence, my response to Serge-san was…