Patent Attorney In Denver Discusses Patent Ownership For Employees – Part 3 of 3
Interviewer: Should inventors take their ideas to the company they are working for?
Patent Attorney: Many companies have procedures in place for evaluating intellectual property internally. Sometimes the company may release rights to an invention if it has no value to the company.
Interviewer: So even if I am required to assign my invention to my employer, they might let me keep it?
Patent Attorney: Every company is going to have their own policy, but it’s certainly a possibility.
Interviewer: Any other tips?
Patent Attorney: Check the Employee Handbook, the company intra-net, and any other materials the company may have given you to determine if there is a procedure in place for dealing with intellectual property. If there is, determine whether you are required to assign over rights to you invention.
Interviewer: So even if I’m required to sign over some types of inventions to my employer, I may not be required to assign over other types of inventions?
Patent Attorney: That’s right. An employer may have no interest in your invention if it is unrelated to the business of the employer. Or an inventor’s position with a company may not require that they assign over rights to their invention.
Interviewer: And I suppose you’re going to say to talk to a patent attorney for specific advice?
Patent Attorney: Of course – the law governing assignment of ownership rights in inventions is going to depend on the specific circumstances, whether there is a written agreement, and the laws may even vary by state.
Interviewer: Thank you, I think that’s all we have time for today. For more information, be sure to visit Trenner Law Firm’s website at www.us-patentattorney.com and Mark Trenner’s blog over at www.ipatentattorney.org