I wrote many patent applications while at my former company. After I left the company, I refused to sign any more documents handing over full patent rights because the company owed me money. They replied that they would simply declare me as a non-cooperative inventor at the USPTO so that the patent applications would be evaluated and valid. However, this is not true, I am willing to cooperate and sign patent documents handing over ownership as long as I get paid money due (we are talking about $5000). Going to court is too expensive and not worth if for this amount of money. However, we are talking about nearly 14 different patent applications filed. Does anyone have suggestion on what I should do? Should I contact the USPTO and inform them of the situation?

1 Answer 1


Questions regarding your inventorship rights need to be posed to a registered patent attorney or agent. The answer is highly fact specific to your particular situation. There was also a major change in the law that went into effect September 16 that needs to be taken into account.

Regarding what the company owes you, if someone owes you a small amount of money (e.g. $5,000) you may be able to take them to small claims court. No attorney is needed.

  • 1
    Unfortunately for you, it is now fairly easy for the company to declare you a "non-cooperative inventor" and go ahead with patenting without your signature. That said, most companies would be willing to pay the money owed in order to avoid that hassle. Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 12:55
  • Also, them owing you money is not relevant to the USPTO proceedings.
    – George White
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 19:56
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    I am not sure 37 CFR §11.5(b)(1)(ii) allows a registered agent to do this type of work for the inventor here. The inventor is adverse to the owner. This might be a good illustation of the 2008 revision to §11.5.
    – Yorick
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 22:04
  • As a patent agent there are some aspects of advising a client in the poster's position that do fall within what I think I am authorized to do - but I would highly recommend an attorney rather than take it on since there are other areas I would not be allowed/qualified to handle.
    – George White
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:54

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