How can a patent be grant when we never signed our names to the documents? We had an employee take device,had someone do drawings of the device and and apply for a patent after the patent was rejected the first time by my husband the designer. This person had no knowledge of our operation since our sad but bitter parting. She never put one red cent into the company and now she thinks she owns 1/3 of the company. I don't understand how she was able to get a patent on this item, her name being listed first with myself and my husband on the patents second and third parties. We never were given or signed any consent papers yet our name is on the patent. She basically stole all of our information and got her name on my husbands work. She also know nothing about the field of the product. She's an x friend and neighbor.

  • 1
    Time to consult a lawyer.
    – Eric S
    Dec 29, 2017 at 15:09
  • You can improve this question by listing the patent number in question and providing a link.
    – Eric S
    Dec 29, 2017 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


Without seeing the file on the case, some important points that might be helpful are -

(1) The USPTO should have required signed declarations from each person listed as an inventor stating that they consider themselves collectively to be true inventors and understand their responsibilities to the patent office. However, there are ways around this.

(2) The order of the inventors has no legal significance, so the first listed has no rights above the others simply by being listed first.

(3) Unless there is some assignment document or other contract between the listed inventors, they share an undivided interested in the patent. Any one of the inventors can practice or license the patent without any accounting with the others. You can make, sell, use, etc. the patented item, as can the person you have this dispute with. In practice this propably means she will not be able to license the patent.

(4) I'm not an attorney, but one might be able to get a person listed as an inventor removed if they, in fact, didn't contribute conceptually to the claimed invention.

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