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(Message started by: ram on May 30th, 2006, 12:22pm)

Title: copyright for patent specification
Post by ram on May 30th, 2006, 12:22pm
i am just wondering who holds the copyright for a drafted patent specification - is it inventor(s) or applicant(s) or person(s) who actually drafted the patent spec or the firm employing the person(s) who drafted the patent spec.

thanks.





Title: Re: copyright for patent specification
Post by Wolfcastle on May 30th, 2006, 1:36pm
From http://www.uspto.gov/main/ccpubguide.htm


Quote:
Patents are published as part of the terms of granting the patent to the inventor. Subject to limited exceptions reflected in 37 CFR 1.71(d) & (e) and 1.84(s), the text and drawings of a patent are typically not subject to copyright restrictions. The inventors' right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States for a limited time is not compromised by the publication of the description of the invention. In other words, the fact that a patent's description may have been published without copyright restrictions does not give you permission to manufacture or use the invention without permission from the inventor during the active life of the patent.

Title: Re: copyright for patent specification
Post by ram on May 31st, 2006, 5:20am
Wolfcastle. I am not sure you got my question correctly.

Assume that the drafted patent specification has not been filed in any of the patent office.

Maybe take a scenario that it wont be filed at all with any patent office.

Now who holds the copyright for the drafted patent specification document.

1. Is it the inventor who conceived the concepts described in the drafted patent specification? or
                                     
2. Is it the employee of the inventor, who will be the assignee if the patent document is filed with a patent office? or

3. Is it the person (patent agent/attorney) who actually written each/every word recited in the patent specification? or

4. Is it the employee of the patent agent/attorney? or

5. Does it depend upon what kind of contract the patent attorney/employee of the patent attorney agreed with the client while taking up the patent drafting assignment.

Thanks.



Title: Re: copyright for patent specification
Post by Isaac on May 31st, 2006, 5:51am
Under work for hire doctrine, the drafter or his employer would own the copyright to the patent specification unless it was assigned to a client or someone else.  My experience is that the copyright in patent specifications does not get assigned.

So the inventor would generally not own the copyright in the patent specification unless he wrote it himself.  

Of course there is a question of exactly what rights the copyright holder can exercise.  He cannot prevent the verbatim copying of the patent in ways inconsistent with patent law and policy.   I'm not aware of anyone ever suing for patent infringement of a specification.

By the way, I'm not convinced that some of the things the USPTO says about the copyright of patents are correct.  


Title: Re: copyright for patent specification
Post by ram on May 31st, 2006, 6:21am
Isaac. Thanks. Thats a very helpful answer.

By the way, congrats for 2000 posts in this forum. Really a great achievement.


Title: Re: copyright for patent specification
Post by JSonnabend on May 31st, 2006, 6:46am

Quote:
By the way, I'm not convinced that some of the things the USPTO says about the copyright of patents are correct.

The PTO is a strange, insular place, I often think.  The mind-set is often that of law maker, but that's not in any substantive way shape or form the case.  As a result, I agree with you, Isaac, that one should take PTO proclamations about copyright with a grain of salt, to say the least.

- Jeff



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