Lutz, FL asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida

Q: My ex-husband has stolen my idea and has filed for a patent what can I do?

He has filed the patent and also the original prototype was made by my father

3 Lawyer Answers
Walker Weitzel
Walker Weitzel
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: There are absolutely legal steps you can take. Filing for patent if you are not the true inventor is generally a wasted effort. It is not difficult to render such a patent unenforceable. There are many possible courses of action. One example would be to attempt to convince your ex-husband that it is in his best interest to correct the named inventor on the application. The idea would be to name you as an inventor, then to agree to assign the application to him for some agreed upon dollar amount. You can contact a lawyer to approach him on this issue. Your lawyer can contact your husband's lawyer and lay out an argument based on the facts. Assuming the facts are as you state (inventorship can be a technical question and isn't always obvious), then his lawyer could not in good faith proceed with the application prosecution without jeopardizing his license. They would be compelled to at least negotiate with you. As I mentioned, you could try to get a one-time payout, or you could look for royalties or some other payment scheme.

You have leverage. You should contact a patent lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your options. Note that this might not be in the wheelhouse of the first patent lawyer you talk to. You might need to talk to a few lawyers before you find one that is comfortable taking this matter. Also, this might be a type of matter that a lawyer would be willing to handle on contingency- meaning that the lawyer would just take a percentage of whatever payment you receive from your ex. You should begin working promptly. This matter will be handled more effectively earlier in the application process.

Jesus Sanchelima
Jesus Sanchelima
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can seek to invalidate the patent application and if you are within the statutory time to file your own you may do so.

Christian Jay Sanchelima
Christian Jay Sanchelima
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can seek to invalidate their application for improper inventorship and seek to file your own if you're within the statutorily permissible time frame. Feel free to reach out with additional questions.

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