When I write my own patent, I have to reference someone. Do I use the inventor or the assignee when referencing patents?
I assume that you are referring to prior art references which you are planning to include in the patent application of yours. You may cite the patent publication number or the patent application number of the prior art reference. This will be of convenience to the examiner or anyone who reads your patent application to understand the prior art references you are referring to.
Quite often patent applicants are hesitant in revealing in their patent application, prior art references that may have an adverse impact on the patentability of their patent application. Further, some of the applicants may reveal such references while filing an application, however, they may ignore informing the patent office any additional relevant references that they may come to know of after filing the patent application but before the patent is issued. Failure to reveal relevant prior art references that the applicant is aware of to the patent office can have an adverse impact on the validity of a patent that was obtained by concealing such information.
To understand the importance of disclosing prior art references in the patent application, you may refer to this link: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/duty-of-disclosure-in-a-patent-application