Suppose company A and company B jointly own the rights of a patent, and that this patent results from the work collaboration between inventor 1 (from company A) and inventors 2, 3 (from company B). Also suppose that both company A and B have internal rules to pay 30% of the revenues generated by patents to the inventors.
By the US patent laws, it seems that one of the companies, for example company A, could independently license the patent to a third company and not share its profits with company B. And that seems to be considered one of the perils of joint owning a patent.
My first question is: if company A licenses the patent to a third company, although it is not required to give any money to company B, is company A required by law to pay the inventors 2 and 3 (so all inventors get 10%)? Or company A could give the 30% of revenue to inventor 1 and pay nothing to inventors 2, 3 since they are employed by company B?
The question below assumes companies A and B are still in the preparation phase for a joint patent submission.
My second question is: assuming company A wants to delay the patent application process or, simply, decided that it does not want to submit the patent based on the joint work. Could company B go ahead with the submission by paying all costs by itself provided that it got the signature from inventor 1 (from company A)? In other words, what I want to know is if one company could intentionally block the other company from attempting to get patent rights on a joint invention. In regards to licensing the patent rights, in the US, I know one company can act independent from the other company, but I am wondering if this is also true for the patent application process.