Chapter 28: The Negotiation and The Contract
「Did you say…50%…? 」
I thought it was a mistake and asked. There was no way that it would be 50%. We did not invest huge amounts of money in development as pharmaceutical companies did.
「Yes, it would be 90% if we did not have to use all of our equipment…」
90%? What happened to the patents in this world?
「Ahh…Isn’t 50% too much? I am a little ignorant about this kind of thing.」
「Well. I am making this type of patent contract for the first time, and the details of the contract will be decided by the intervention of a person from the Commerce Guild. However, I think that the market price for patent fees is about 70 to 50% of the profit. When it comes to monopolizing something as big as that, of course…」
Is that so…Did that mean it would protect the technology? I never thought that a world as this one would be this far culturally.
Well, there were probably geniuses and other intelligent human beings in every world. Unexpectedly, the level of this civilization was quite high because magic tools were too convenient and efficient.
Nonetheless. Wait a second. If I got 50% here, wouldn’t the Coal Mining Association use this technology exclusively? For example, if they cut the proportion in half and spread it twice, would it be unfavorable for other people?
I wanted something that could benefit both the Coal Mining Association and me. Therefore, I wanted to propose a deal.
「Well, I have a little idea, but I don’t know if it is procedurally good. So can’t we talk with the person from the Commerce Guild as well? There is a high possibility that you will be able to make more money.」
「Is…Is there such a way? Ideas to increase profits are always welcome. But if it has a defect, I may have to decline it. Even so, I would like to hear your proposal first.」
「Well then. Would you like to hear it right now? 」
「Yeah, I will call the Chairman of the Coal Mining Association, so please wait a moment.」
That said, he went to find the Chairman of the Coal Mining Association. I noticed that Igug was still doing something around the coke oven.
After a while, an elderly man of the human race who seemed to be quite fit and healthy came along with the person who went to look for him.
「I heard that you want less than 50%. But are you really sure? Honestly, I thought it was quite low even if it was at 50%.」
「Yes, but I would like to propose a special system. However, I don’t want to explain the same thing twice. So is it okay to explain it in detail with the people from the Commerce Guild?」
「Okay, but for that we will have to find someone from the Commerce Guild ourselves, is it okay with you?」
「I don’t mind it. But will the people of the Commerce Guild be free to meet us without a scheduled meeting?」
I thought that it would be a problem if we brought a new contract quite suddenly without an appointment…
「That should be fine. The lightness of their footwork is their life. There should be few things to do unless something big happened, of course, if they judge it a shitty project, it might be delayed. However, since there is no fuel alternative for refining to replace charcoal, it will be probably one of the biggest events in the city except for special materials.」
「Are special materials such a big event? 」
「Because special materials are extremely expensive. I still remember a particular time when some parts of a dragon were brought in about ten years ago. Recently, there is a hoax saying that someone brought a whole Metal Lizard. If it is true, then great. It would be just like that particular time with the dragon’s materials. But, if people make more noise than usual without any evidence, then it’s definitely a hoax.」
I am sorry. But it was not a hoax. I brought it in the item box.
The Metal Lizard gave me some money, but perhaps, it did confuse the market business at this town. At least, I was glad that my finances were stable for now.
「Is that so? Well then, let’s go right away.」
「Let’s do that. I’m looking forward to the idea of your patent about the invented coke.」
Well, I was not the one who invented coke, but a great old man. I just apologized in my heart. However, I had not done anything wrong.
I followed the Chairman of the Coal Mining Association.
After a while, I arrived at the Commerce Guild. Unlike the Adventurer’s Guild, it was a white and clean building. I went inside, but there were no counters like the ones at the Adventurer’s Guild. In fact, it looked like a university laboratory building with a small receptionist at the entrance.
A woman sat in a place that seemed to be a receptionist counter. She looked like the receptionists at the Adventurer’s Guild in Ain.
However, she was not a receptionist who seemed to be friendly like the ones in an Adventurer’s Guild. She had a face that seemed to have a stoic personality. She seemed to be wearing glasses and doing her secretary job like in modern Japan.
「I came here to have a business discussion about a special patent contract. So I am asking for an intermediary.」
「What is the patent agreement about? 」
「It’s a patent for a fuel that burns at a higher temperature than charcoal and can be used for refining, which is cheaper than charcoal.」
「What…!? … Did the Coal Mining Association develop such a thing? 」
「No, who developed it was the boy over here. However, I am sure it can be used; otherwise, I wouldn’t have come here.」
Did he call me a “boy”? I heard people say before that Japanese people had baby faces. However, I felt like I saw a Japanese person here too…
「Well, there is no reason that you would lie. Although I don’t know how practical it is, it’s definitely an important matter, so I’ll bring you an intermediary.」
The receptionist was a little distraught, but soon returned to her senses and began to perform her duties faithfully.
The intermediary was a young man from the human race. Even though Herrera was the main city of dwarves, I felt like I’ve only been talking to people from the human race lately.
I wondered if the paper work, not just mediation, but negotiations as well, were left to the human race.
「I am going to be the intermediary. My name is Kaichi. Pleased to meet you. 」
「My name is Kaede. Nice to meet you. 」
「I think you know me, but I’m Ginta. Hi. 」
Kaichi-san took us to one of the laboratory-like rooms. When Kaichi-san finally entered the room, he manipulated some magical tools, urging us to sit down, and finally sat down and opened his mouth.
「Today I am the intermediary for patent contracts. Can I explain the patent system first?」
I did not know much about the patent system in this world. In fact, I did not know much about it in the original world either.
I should listen.
「Yes please. 」
Ginta-san and the Fuel Shop owned nodded in agreement.
「Patents vary depending on the profit or percentage of sales, but a patent user need to decide on the amount of money or other materials such as goods. A system protects developers of new technologies and products, as well as discoveries of artifacts. Any attempt to avoid paying patent fees by fraudulent means will be severely punished, in general. In the case of money, small magic stone artifacts account for 90% of profits, and new technologies account for about 80% to 50%. This amount is decided by negotiations, but the market price is the amount of added value depending on the technology. It depends on how much profit you make if you do business with that said technology.」
Hmm… Negotiation seemed to be extremely important to sign a patent contract.
「Okay. By the way, is it possible to make a patent contract without negotiations?」
「I don’t think it is possible to make a contract because the price has not been decided.」
「Ah, yes. I might have explained it badly. For example, “If you use this technology, you will get 50% of the profit from it, and you can use it without permission within that range.” Something like that.」
「Well… I can’t judge that. I will call the branch manager.」
Kaichi-san went out in a hurry, and soon, an obese man who felt like a merchant came in.
「Hello. My name is Naiaki, the branch chief of the Merchant Guild in Herrera. I heard that you want a special patent agreement, but I’d like to hear a detailed explanation first.」
「Yes, first, I would like to receive about 30% of the profit. Then I would like to distribute 10% to the miners and 10% to the Coal Mining Association.」
「Does the patent user get the money? What is the difference by lowering the patent fee?」
「No, the important thing is from now on, the Coal Mining Association and the miners will spread this technology. I will get a part of the profits, and the rest will be distributed between the Coal Mining Association and the miners. By employing this method, the number of patent users of this technology will increase. I, the coal miners, the Coal Mining Association will be enriched, and the technology will develop. This is the only way to benefit us all by spreading the technology.」
Naiaki-san was thinking silently, but suddenly raised his face.
「Sure, it is a good system! However, there is a possibility that price competition will intensify too much. That technology can maintain a high profit margin because of monopoly and oligopoly.」
「That’s right… Then, for example, how about deciding a fixed price per kilogram by taking a patent fee per kilogram? Then, the competition will be based on quality and not price. Whichever wins, we won’t lose.」
「Then there seems to be no problem. Miyas-san and Ginta-san. You have been silently listening to our conversation. What do you both think?」
「I don’t mind. There are limits to what I can do on my scale.」
「I don’t mind too. There are many places bigger than what we have over here. Actually, most of the coalmines are not dug, and it is useless to monopolize only around this area.」
Both of them agreed. Therefore, I summarized the story.
「Then, is it okay to decide the price list of the cost and then sign the contract?」
「Ah, I would be grateful if you could wait for about 3 days.」
Naiaki-san spoke apologetically.
「This is not a matter where only one intermediary or branch manager can judge. I have to contact the chief of the Guild first. I have to exchange this information and get permission. This is about metal production after all… When it comes to technology that has the potential to increase in volume, many things needs to be addressed before reaching to a conclusion.」
The procedures sounded like those in government offices. Did they actually operate like the government offices in my original world?
I left the Commerce Guild after we finished our talk.
I decided to go back to the inn and sleep. However, when I checked the status before going to bed, my MP limit was increased by 1.
I wondered if it still increased even if the level did not rise.
This chap was a bit boring. But soon we will catch up with the manga and it will be a bit more interesting 😉 (in about 2/3 chaps).
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