Assignment issues seem to keep cropping up for me.
If company ABC changes its name to ABC-1 (very similar names) and an assignment is executed by inventors of the company after the name change, but the assignment erroneously lists the assignee as ABC rather than ABC-1, then do the inventors need to initial a corrective document that is filed at the PTO? The PTO is telling me no, the assignee (or attys of assignee) can submit it and just cross out the assignee name on a copy of the assignment and pencil in the new name, but I don't believe it. It seems that the MPEP 323 is clear on this. Am I missing something?
Has anyone done this before?
I added some underlining in your OP. I'm sorry but I think I have more questions than answers (i.e., advance warning that I don't think I have solid legal answers for you).
What does "changes its name" mean? Is the new ABC-1 name just a D/B/A of the ABC corp, and the ABC Corp is still the registered legal entity? Or has ABC corp actually had a change of legal entity and ABC-1 Corp is its successor in all its interests?
If there was no legal entity change (ABC-1 is a D/B/A of existing ABC), note you can record a name change certificate if you want, but I wonder whether this is really needed, particularly if ABC may decide to D/B/A "ABC-1-Prime" next year...
If there was an actual change to the legal entity and ABC-1 now owns ABC's prior interests: See the second part underlined - inventors of which company
, ABC Corp or ABC-1 Corp? Maybe they have been employees of both, of course. But to which entity did the inventors owe an obligation of assignment at the time they made their invention?
- If to ABC, then the original assignment is correct, and ABC-1 should be able to record documents showing it now owns ABC's interest in the invention.
- If to ABC-1, then I agree with your reading of the main part of 323 where it states the inventors ("party conveying") must initial the corrections. But note the later section 323.01(b) relating to typos - if the inventors are not available to sign, an affidavit explaining the circumstances can be filed by the assignee.