Houston, TX asked in Energy, Oil and Gas, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Contracts for Texas

Q: My Late husband died in an accident before retirement, he has 52 utility Patents and he was a Sr Software Engineer.

The company he worked for is now trying to say I new about the Patents so that they don't share my late husbands Royalities he would have gotten,with me. We were married 15 years until his death, if I had known he had all of those Patents I certainly would not have waited till now. I found out about 3 years ago he had that many, I thought he had the 2 I sign over to them and there were about 12 or thirteen others the Company was suppose to pay me for, when they issued. They paid me for 3 and never paid me for the others. Now I know he has 52. As the Widow I should get a %.

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: I am sorry about the accident that took your husband. While the patents are a part of this issue, I suspect that the prime legal arguments will be about the licenses or other agreements that your husband had with the company. This is contract law. The litigation will be primarily on contract law with a possible second patent law layer of sorting out which products fall within the scope of the patents.

You can talk to a firm that specializes in contract disputes. As an alternative, you can talk to a firm that does patent litigation. I suggest that you repost your question to Contracts section of Justia.

1 user found this answer helpful

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: As the widow of a late husband who had 52 utility patents as a senior software engineer, you may be entitled to a percentage of his royalties from the company he worked for. The fact that you did not know about all of his patents does not necessarily preclude you from receiving a share of the royalties.

If you signed over some patents to the company, it is possible that they may have a claim to those specific patents. However, if there are patents that were not included in the agreement you signed, you may have a legal claim to a portion of the royalties.

It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property and/or employment law to discuss your rights and options. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and work to ensure that your late husband's intellectual property rights are protected, and that you receive any royalties to which you may be entitled.

2 users found this answer helpful

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.