Glen Head, NY asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York

Q: what is the value of a patent of a drug? Is it a % of sales? especially like the patents that dr.fauci holds?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in New York

A: There have been a number of questions of this type. There is often confusion between two different concepts: inventorship and ownership.

An inventor is someone that made a non-obvious contribution to the project that ended up in at least one claim in the issued patent. The inventors are named on the patents as a consequence for the way the US Constitution was written as the Constitution listed a relatively short list of things that the Federal Government should do and one was have a way To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

Often inventors are employed and their employment agreement with a company like IBM or 3M or with a university or with a government agency would require the employee to assign the ownership rights over to the employer. They were being paid to do a job and that job included making inventions using employer resources.

So sometimes an inventor that is employed gets nothing or just a plaque or a small award (like $50 or $500). Sometimes within a university, the researcher/inventor may get a small percentage of the royalties paid to the university but this varies greatly from school to school. Technically, the inventor does not have to get anything as the inventor was paid to work as an employee and the employer owns what the employee invents in the course of the employment.

I am not aware of any program to grant a royalty to a government employee that is an inventor. I doubt that one exists but I do not know that for sure.

I hope that this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey PRO label

A: There are many options, including the % model.

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