Patent Ownership –
Inventors and Assignees
Inventors must be identified:
U.S. patent laws require the identification of all individual inventors.
Failure to name an inventor, or naming a non-inventor as an inventor, can
invalidate any patent that might issue from an application.
There is no legal significance in the order in which inventors are named.
What makes someone an inventor:
Only persons who contributed to the conception and/or the conversion of a
conception to a practicality are inventors.
Persons who contribute financing or marketing or other auxiliary
assistance only are not inventors.
Assignment and ownership:
Persons or businesses can acquire an ownership interest in a patent
application by assignment from the inventor.
inventor granting the assignment is an assignor.
person or business receiving the assignment is the assignee.
inventor can assign a co-ownership interest by assignment to
himself/herself and a non-inventor jointly.
granting of such ownership or co-ownership rights should never be
attempted by misjoinder of persons as inventors when they are not.
patent application is owned by the inventors if there is no assignment.
Joint inventors-owners of a patent application hold their rights as
tenants in common, not joint tenants.
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