Are there jurisdictions where it is possible for a corporation to be listed as the inventor on a patent? Has that ever been the case historically? I know in the US an inventor must be an individual and that's always been the case, but are there any jurisdictions where it is or has been possible?

  • 1
    What would be the point? The corporation can still own the patent as the assignee.
    – Eric S
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 18:13
  • 2
    A corporation cannot be an inventor because a corporation has no personal intellect with which to derive an invention. Under US practice, an "inventor" is comprised of one or more individuals, regardless of who they might work for, or whether they are partners or other legal relationship.
    – Upnorth
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 5:16
  • @Upnorth I suppose with new artificial intelligence systems, there could be machine generated inventions someday.
    – Eric S
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 3:29

2 Answers 2


Very interesting question.

The European Rules would seem to mirror the US rules:

Rule 19 Designation of the inventor Art. 62, 128 R. 21, 60, 163
(1) The request for grant of a European patent shall contain the designation of the inventor. However, if the applicant is not the inventor or is not the sole inventor, the designation shall be filed in a separate document. The designation shall state the family name, given names and full address of the inventor, contain the statement referred to in Article 81 and bear the signature of the applicant or his representative.

Although entities like corporations are not explicitly excluded, the requirement of family name and given name would seem to render corporate entities ineligible.


With respect to a corporation or organization being named an inventor, in April 2020 the USPTO denied a patent being issued to a non human named inventor when an AI system was used as an inventor name on a patent application.

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a decision refusing to vacate a Notice of Missing Parts in U.S. Patent Application No.: 16/524,350

“The USPTO reasoned that ‘conception—the touchstone of inventorship—must be performed by a natural person.’”

Read the news story here -> https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/07/13/artificial-intelligence-cant-patent-inventions/id=123226/

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