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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   IP rights of US gov employees?
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   Author  Topic: IP rights of US gov employees?  (Read 600 times)
user1name2
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Posts: 3
IP rights of US gov employees?
« on: Nov 21st, 2004, 11:35am »
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If a person invents something while a US federal employee (and the invention is closely related to her primary area of work for this employer), but the invention is made on her own time and prior to her being tasked/funded for it (but the optimization of the invention is later funded, NOT with R&D funds but rather operations/purchasing funds), could that person patent the invention herself (and have it be defensible) or would she have to patent it through the government and also have the government own the rights?
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Isaac
Senior Member
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Posts: 3472
Re: IP rights of US gov employees?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 22nd, 2004, 5:02pm »
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Government employees generally do not sign employment contracts.
The rights to inventions of government employees is described in
Executive Order 10096.  I'd recommend googling for it.
 
The short version is that inventions created by government
employees either within the scope of their employment or that
related to their official duties belong to Uncle Sam.  I would
expect that your organization unit has a method of reviewing the
inventions made by government employees.
 
There are some other ramifications.  The government may be due
a royalty free license even when they are not entitled to a patent
on your invention.
 
I'd highly recommend reading the Executive Order and then finding out
what local policy is.
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Isaac
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