My company's former contractor stole confidental information from me and filed a patent for it.

I had filed a patent for the same invention but few months before him. USPTO issued final rejection for the contractors patent application due to the invention being already known to USPTO by me.

What procedure do I need to file in order to get rights to Contractors patent?


Patent rights vest upon issuance of a patent. The contractor's patent should not have issued because he was not the inventor (note that a final rejection in-an-of itself does not mean that a patent will never issue). Therefore, the contractor never acquired any property rights, so there really are not any rights to transfer.

  • Are you suggesting improper inventorship forever poisons an application? Because I'm not sure that's true: inventorship can be corrected (37 CFR 1.48). – Maca Apr 9 '17 at 2:47
  • @Maca ,WalkerWeitzel is there nothing similar to epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/epc/2016/e/ar61.html (Article 61 EPC) in the US? Because there it would be possible to pursue the application as your own (among other possibilities) if you prove that the idea was yours. – DonQuiKong Apr 9 '17 at 9:30
  • The original question states the contractor's patent application was rejected so I think it is OK to assume this question is correct. Of course, final rejections aren't necessarily final... – Eric S Jun 3 '18 at 2:41

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