The issue here is simple. If you don't own the invention, then it would be a waste of money to seek patent protection on the invention. See how ownership issues arise below.
Core concept #5
Ownership issues arise between co-inventors, in inventor - investor relationships, employer - employee relationships and independent contractor relationships. If you do not own the invention, then it would be a waste of time and money to file the patent application. During the initial consultation, we explore any potential issues with ownership.
Under U.S. patent laws, each of the co-inventors can exploit the technology to their own benefit without accounting for profits to the other co-inventor. Between inventor and investors, the inventor can abscond with the patent application without repayment to the investor. Employees unless they are under a contract to assign an invention to the employer, may own the invention to the surprise of the employer. The same is true for independent contractor relationships.
Ownership issues are generally easier and less expensive to resolve early on during the patent process. Later on, ownership issues are generally expensive and may not be resolved due to the conflicting interests of the parties. During the initial consultation, we explore these relationships and develop a course of action that will avoid these pitfalls.
Contact me at (949) 433-0900 to schedule your initial consultation.
1. Define the invention
2. Review of the prior art
3. Explore different ways of protecting your intellectual property
(i.e., patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret)
4. Foreign protection
6. First to file under the America Invents Act
7. Patent Process
8. Questions and answers
9. Recommended next step(s) and estimated fees