Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: morgan on Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:17am)

Title: Multiple inventors
Post by morgan on Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:17am
My company has asked me to put the name of some people on my patent who have not contributed to this patent.

I was wondering whether I can put my name on this patent as the inventor, and name of other people as participants.

Is there such a field as participant or something else beside the main inventor that I can use for these individuals?

Title: Re: Multiple inventors
Post by Wiscagent on Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:09pm
Presumably your company will hire a patent agent or patent attorney to write, file, and prosecute the patent application.  It should be the responsibility of the agent or attorney to determine inventorship, not your responsibility.  It is your responsibility to honestly communicate with the agent or attorney so that individiual can identify the true inventors.

Title: Re: Multiple inventors
Post by Isaac Clark on Aug 23rd, 2005, 7:20pm
I disagree with the theory that the inventor has no responsibility for
the inventorship being correct.  He's going to end up signing an oath
or affidavit indicating that the inventorship is correct.  How
would you suggest he react to being asked to sign a declaration with
a lie on its face?

Title: Re: Multiple inventors
Post by Wiscagent on Aug 23rd, 2005, 9:28pm
Isaac, you make a good point, of course the inventor should not sign a declaration that is incorrect.  

I was assuming that the inventor would be dealing with an honest, ethical, competent practitioner.  The practitioner should ask the right questions to determine inventorship.  Many or perhaps most inventors are not qualified to identify who are and who are not inventors.

When Morgan wrote "My company has asked me..." I assumed that some manager (who probably doesn't know or care about any subtleties of inventorship) was doing the asking.  Hopefully the patent practitioner would overrule the manager and insist on correct inventorship.

Richard Tanzer

Title: Re: Multiple inventors
Post by JimIvey on Aug 24th, 2005, 10:45am
Just a couple of points to add:

There's no such thing as a "participant" -- a person is either an inventor or not an inventor.

Naming a non-inventor as an inventor or failing to name an inventor (i.e., listing incorrect inventorship) can make a patent invalid and unenforceable.  See 35 USC 102(f):

So, it's fairly important to get inventorship right -- to comply with 102(f) and for the reasons already given.


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