We were asked to assist a person who had a concept of creating avatars to raise funds and become partners in a JV. In the process we found out he did not have any technicle knowledge what so ever and was using two young engineers to acquire technicle details so he could write a patent with the promise of a shareholding in the company. After many months of work the first person informed everyone that he had set up a company and applied for a patent in his name only and expected everyone who had participate in the venture to sign over rights such as videos and the technicle information to himself. Is this acceptable under patent law especially as there is clear plagoriztion of the engineers work who had been working free of charge?



The actual inventorship of claims for a pending patent, filed with incomplete naming of all inventors, may (in theory) be "corrected", under some circumstances, assuming the omission was in "error" and not intentional fraud. MPEP § 506, 35 USC § 116, 37 CFR § 48, etc. Even after issuance, an "erroneous" inventorship may be amended in some cases (e.g., 35 USC § 256), as otherwise the claims on an invention by "others" would be invalid.

Intentionally filing false declarations in US federal matters is also a felony. 18 USC § 1001.

"Working free of charge" does not mean there was not a valid "joint venture" with implied anticipated upside (shareholder benefits) for all who contributed in what might be a de facto partnership. State statutes of frauds may govern the technicalities of enforcing oral contracts not memorialized in any sort of "writing" (including emails or texts). Someone in law.stackexchange may have more to say upon submission of a proper a question in that regard.


I’m not a lawyer, but in the US at least (and I think most venues), falsely claiming inventorship can invalidate a patent. There is no need either since the assignee (owner) of the patent need not be the inventor. It depends on the employment agreement between the actual inventors and the employer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.