Q: I left a company. They can regist a patent, where I am as inventor, in USA without my permission?
I left a company.
Now, i see that they register a patent in USA, after I left the company. I never give any permission to register the patent in US territory.They can regist a patent, where I am as inventor, in USA without my permission?
A: If you were employed to invent things, then yes.
They can file without your signature if you were under an obligation to assign your rights. They have to jump through some hoops. My memory is that they need to reach out to get your signature but can proceed if you refuse. I have not been down this path in a long time.
There are lots of details and nuances. You should consult an attorney to work through whether filing a patent application without your permission is appropriate.
A: This is a very common question.
A scientist or an engineer works for a company to invent and develop new products that will make money for the company. The scientist/engineer invents, and the company pays the scientist/engineer for the work, just like any other worker. The product of the work belongs to the company. Just like when a chef in a restaurant is paid to make meals for the customers does not get to keep the meals, or just like a factory worker makes toasters does not get to keep the toasters, so too a scientist/engineer does not get to keep the fruits of his labor. Just like the restaurant does not need to get the chef's permission to serve the meal or the factory does not need a permission to sell the toasters, so too the company does not need a permission to use the invention of the scientist/engineer as it sees fit. What would be the point of employing a worker if the worker would just to keep the product of his work?
The good news for the scientist/engineer is that although the company gets to keep the patent, the company cannot keep the inventor from getting credit for it. The inventor's name will always be associated with the patent. The inventor will be able to put it down on his resume, even if the company and the inventor don't like each other.
There are also exceptions. If someone is flipping burgers for living and during the evenings and weekends he creates a new electronic circuits, then the invention will likely be his and not belong to the burger stand.
Also, if the scientist/engineer invented something prior to being employed by the company, the invention would likely not belong to company, just like a toasters or meals made for old employers would not belong to new employers.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.