In a large American HQed company I worked, based on an engineering work my manager and I did, the company filed a US Patent Application at the USPTO on March 2013. I am the first named inventor in the application. My manager is also listed as an inventor. As per company policy, we assigned the invention to our company, who then filed the utility patent application through a law agency specialising in patent applications. I quit the company in June 2014 to pursue a PhD in a university (present status).
We learnt through the US Public Pair Portal that the application has been successful in crossing all hurdles, and all that is left is to issue the patent. The notice of allowance was mailed on Jan 17, 2017. It says that we have exactly 3 months to pay the issue fees or else, the application will be abandoned. The three-month deadline falls on April 16, 2017.
I contacted my manager, who is still employed in this company. He, in turn, contacted the patent team, who said that they will not be proceeding any further with the applications, due to present business interests not warranting any further investment on this application.
This is a bummer, very agonising - a slip between the cup and the lip. So near, yet so far. I would really like to see the patent getting issued and having a patent number purely for boosting my CV. I have no financial interest in this application. I also do not care whether the company owns the patent when it gets assigned or not.
How can I take this through? I am willing to pay the issue fee myself. Is this allowed? How do I do this? What's the procedure? What are my choices?
Any help will be much appreciated.
Update: Final Outcome
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, I have been informed by the authorities that they will :
a) not be paying the issue fees
b) not reassign it back to me
c) not allow me to pay the issue fees myself.
Thanks a lot for your suggestions.
Update 2: Finding out eligibility for damages
I was suggested by a member of the community here to look for potentially pressing for damages for not offering me the possibility to self-file or take the application forward personally. How can I get started with this ? I have no idea on the standard legal routes in the US. I am a full-time PhD student and cannot afford to pay a lawyer. I have to file the complaint myself (online?). Will it affect my future employability with this organisation?