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I was working for a company in 2019 and I presented an idea that I had been working on since I was a student, and I developed it before my graduation. The company filed a patent application and I was its inventor. in 2020, I changed my job and no longer work for that company. The patent was published in 2021. Now the status of the invention has changed to "APPLICATION DEEMED TO BE WITHDRAWN". As its inventor, can I reapply for the patent? What is my right in this situation when the employer wasted my idea and efforts? I greatly appreciate your advice.

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  • Bottom line, consult a lawyer.
    – Eric S
    Jun 18 at 1:17
  • It was probably the application that was published. No patent may have issued. You can use the publication number to look up the history in Public PAIR. The entire back-and-forth with the examiner can be seen in the file wrapper tab. You might get done insight as to why it was withdraw. Not responding to an office action will usually result in abandonment. Withdrawn is unusual. Actually the USPTO patentcenter is easier to use than Public PAIR
    – George White
    Jun 18 at 2:11
  • If you provide the application publication number we can look over the file history.
    – Eric S
    Jun 18 at 19:30
  • Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate it.
    – Sami
    Jun 19 at 22:31

2 Answers 2

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I am not a lawyer. What you can do is probably determined by the specifics of your case. I will address a few things that jump out at me. First, if you created and developed the invention before working for the company I don't see where the company should have any rights to it at all. Therefore, I assume you must have assigned them rights to the invention. I also assume you wouldn't have do so without getting something in return. The specifics of the contract assigning rights are important and you haven't detailed those. If your research, while a student, was sponsored and paid for by the college, university or other funding institution, then it is possible you didn't have sole rights to the invention anyway.

As George White points out, if you know the application publication number, you can look it up on the USPTO Public PAIR or Patent Center sites and read the communications between your old employer and the examiner. These might help you understand the history of the application. You also could reach out to your previous employer and ask them why the application was withdrawn. Ultimately, you probably should ask an actual patent attorney for guidance.

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  • Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate it.
    – Sami
    Jun 19 at 22:31
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The likely bottom line is they paid you for your efforts, you signed over all rights to them and they can do what they think is in their best interests.

As to intangibles, since the application was published with you listed as an inventor, it is available for all to see and learn from your creation.

By the way, the order of inventors is often meaningful to the inventors and others but has no legal consequence.

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    Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate it.
    – Sami
    Jun 19 at 22:31

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