For those new to protecting their inventions with patents, one of the more common issues that needs to be resolved is ownership. Who owns the invention or patent? A company may believe that it owns the rights to an invention. However, a closer look at the law reveals that this may not be the case. Several common ownership issues arise with situations involving independent … [Read more...]
Invention Assignment Agreement
An invention assignment agreement assigns invention rightss which initially vests with employees and independent contractors so that those hiring them can own the invention rights.
Departing employees pose a problem for former employers. These employees may have been on the verge of discovering a new patentable product, formula, etc. during employment with the former employer. When they depart, the information acquired during research and development by the employee belongs to the former employer and should not benefit competitors or others. However, … [Read more...]
Companies acquire invention rights by one of three ways from employees. A formal Invention Assignment Agreement is typically executed when the employee begins employment. The Agreement assigns certain inventions of the employee to the company. Invention rights can also be acquired by way of the Employed-to-Invent doctrine. In particular, to the extent that the employer … [Read more...]
The issue of patent assignments may arise in the context of employment agreements. Employers require employees to assign any inventions made for the employer to the employer. Otherwise, employees may own the patent rights to the invention even if the employer had invested the resources for the research and development to create the invention. The following case illustrates … [Read more...]
Patentees can profit from the patents they hold by licensing their technology. Alternatively, patentees can sell their technology to others through an assignment of the patent. In either case, it is important to carefully lay out the terms and conditions of the license or assignment to make clear the intent of the parties. In The Euclid Chemical Company v. Vector Corrosion … [Read more...]