Q: If a patent is assigned to a company, would the inventor get royalties or just the company?

My father was involved in patents and was not sure if the family is entitled to anything from them.

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: If your father was employed by a company and made inventions as part of his normal job duites, then the employer might consider your father fully paid in that he received his paycheck. As a paid to invent employee, the money paid by the company to your father would serve as consideration for the assignment to move your father's rights over to the company and they would not need to offer any other payment or royalty. In that case, there would not be any additional payments to your father for the invention.

Some companies have patent programs where they give a small award to each inventor for each patent that is issued. Universities often have programs to encourage professors to file patent application in that they do share some of the license fees that come to the university with the inventors. But this is the exception rather than the rule.

If you found this answer helpful, you may want to look at my answers to other questions about patent law are available at the bottom of my profile page at https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/kevin-e-flynn-880338

Kevin E Flynn

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As your question indicates, the company had full ownership. Therefore, the inventor normally does not get any compensation based on royalties. Many universities have royalty sharing agreements with research and engineering staff. The vast majority of US companies do not.

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