Tualatin, OR asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California

Q: Amgen control of patent. Sold rights to other companies. Still used. D. Fenton did nothing. Does Tallen have recourse?

I am sole inventor. Michael Tallen. Dennis Fenton did not come up with idea nor did any of the work. I was fresh out of school. He threatened me to get name on patent snd drove me out of Amgen. Today he is on Board of Directors of over 200 Biotech Companies worth $500M. Amgen got to markets years earlier. As yield went from less then 1% to 99.9% because of my discovery.

Do I have any recourse as the patent attorney agreed Fenton did not have any rights to be on patent.

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: I can't give you an exact answer to your question because I do not have all the information, but here is several points which you should consider.

(1) There is a difference between an ownership of a patent and an inventorship.

(2) An inventor is one who invented as least one of the claims in the patent. There are well-developed rules on what it takes to be an inventor. You cannot have more people listed on a patent as inventors, then there really are, you cannot have fewer people, and they have to be exact. A company cannot chose to not list you if you are an inventor, and likewise, they cannot force you to put your name on the patent if you did not invent the invention.

(3) An owner of the patent can do with it what it wants. It can enforce it, or it can license it, or it can abandon it, etc. An employee who invented the product does not have any say what happens to the patent, anymore than a factory worker making cars has a say on who the car is sold to. The owner does not even have to let the inventor know what it does with the patent.

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