A former employer filed a patent on some work of mine without naming me as an inventor? Is this legal, do I have grounds for action, should I bother?

A former employer filed a patent on some work of mine without naming me as an inventor? Is this legal, do I have grounds for action, should I bother?

This was a piece of software that was 90% my ideas and work. Obviously, since I was an employee the company has ownership rights to it, but it is my understanding that they are still obligated to name me as an inventor on the application. I’m not sure I should care, but maybe there’s something I can do.

Inventorship is like pregnancy. You can wish you were but whether you are or not is a fact, not a desire.

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I once had a patent with this issue. Before filing, I asked who the inventors were, and I was supplied with the details for the inventors. It was for an academic institution.

During litigation, it came out that the person listed as an inventor was the head of the team and only responsible for handing out the money for projects he was listed on. He was not an inventor. Only one of the people listed was an actual inventor – the rest were cronies who thought this was an academic paper where any authors could be listed. Some inventors were not listed. The institution lost the patent, and the head of that department lost his tenure and his job.

This is a very serious issue, and it comes down to this: all inventors must be listed who are actually inventors and not anyone else.

Mark Warburton About the author

<p>The Intellectual Property Guru.</p> <p>His determination to protect innovation stems from a family legacy in which his grandfather, a genius inventor, had his innovations stolen and patented by someone he trusted, which led to his grandfather dying a pauper on a park bench.</p> <p>Mark is an international award winning lawyer and patent attorney and 3-time published author. His prowess in the court room sees him winning cases that others thought were unwinnable. Mark’s passion for protecting intellectual property shines through in his pro-bono legal mentoring, proactive legal workshops and 1-2-1 work with clients.</p>