If I was not sure how to calculate a certain aspect of my work, and asked help for it. And was provided with a good modeling formula for my work, and I pursued using it to approximate my findings, do they have rights towards my concept or deserve anything?

They did not provided any intellectual aid to the patent, so I don't see how they have rights towards it, it's like using a software,tool during my work.

However, I did not pay them, only asked and they provided.

1 Answer 1


You have to ask yourself "what is the actual invention?". If the help you received was helpful, but didn't actually contribute the inventive step, then you should be okay. If, however, the help provided the inventive step in at least one of the claims, then the contributor is a co-inventor.

My first patent arose this way. I did some brainstorming with a co-worker and had some interesting ideas. Later the co-worker remembered that one of my suggestions ended up as one of the claims and had me added as in inventor. As we both worked for the same company, there wasn't any issue with ownership, so you may have a more complicated situation.

  • Adding a nuance to the answer - If the question relates to U.S. patent law, inventorship is determined by making a conceptual contribution to a claim. It need not be an earth shattering contribution. In fact, we do not even use the concept inventive step the way most of the rest of the world does. Instead U.S. law has the concept of non-obviousness and looks at claims in their totality, not old part/new part. One CAFC case said "a contribution to the claimed invention that is not insignificant in quality, when that contribution is measured against the full dimension of the full invention”
    – George White
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 22:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .