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newbeez
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inventor's protection
« on: Dec 20th, 2007, 4:37pm »
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My company is in the process of filing a patent that is based on the results of my research. The research was conducted in collaboration with university, and the work was performed by me and the collaborator from the university in the university lab. The results were transmitted via email to my supervisor at the company. Based on the experimental data which he received from me he has written lab notes in his own lab notebook and have his coworker sign them as a witness. It is our company policy that the lab notebooks cannot be taken outside of the company labs so when I left to conduct my research at university I could not take my lab notebook, and used a temporary notebook for record keeping. Now, before I have a chance to come back to the company, my supervisor is in the process of filing innovation report using the notes he has written in his lab notebook which are based on my results and which I have not seen personally, as a proof of invention.
Could you please comment on the legal aspect of this situation? The innovation report will be signed only by him. Combined with the notes in his lab notebook, it gives an appearance that he was the inventor. How can I protect my rights as an inventor in this situation? Thank you.
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Wiscagent
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Re: inventor's protection
« Reply #1 on: Dec 20th, 2007, 8:02pm »
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If you know the identity of a patent attorney or patent agent involved with the filing of the application, you can write a letter to that individual explaining the inventorship issue.  That would obligate the attorney or agent to at least do some minimal investigation rather than knowingly filing a false declaration with the patent office.
 
Of course there could be other repercussions regarding your job, potential references, or you might even be accused of trying to steal the invention.
« Last Edit: Dec 21st, 2007, 10:52am by Wiscagent » IP Logged

Richard Tanzer
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newbeez
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Re: inventor's protection
« Reply #2 on: Dec 20th, 2007, 9:55pm »
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Thank you for your response. Could you please tell me if an email message with experimental data attached to it can serve as a proof of invention and as a proof that I was an inventor (I have sent it to my supervisor using my company email address and it's saved in my outgoing messages folder)?
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Wiscagent
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Re: inventor's protection
« Reply #3 on: Dec 21st, 2007, 10:51am »
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I'm not an attorney.  You are not my client.  So I'll give you some general thoughts, but don't take them too seriously.  Just think of me as the guy sitting on the next bar stool.
 
1)  I'd use certified mail rather than e-mail.
2)  Inventorship will depend (at least in part) on exactly what is claimed in the patent application.  Assuming that you don't know exactly what is being claimed, you can't know if you can "prove" inventorship.
« Last Edit: Dec 21st, 2007, 10:51am by Wiscagent » IP Logged

Richard Tanzer
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Bill Richards
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Re: inventor's protection
« Reply #4 on: Dec 22nd, 2007, 2:59pm »
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Just to expand on Richard's post, there are many issues surrounding inventorship.  Just because one is involved in developing a new product, etc. does not make one an inventor.  It's a sometime complex inquiry.  Rather than proceeding on your own, I'd suggest you contact a patent attorney who can guide you along the right path and properly protect whatever rights you may have.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
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