Entrepreneurship & Small Business

filing a patent thru your employer.

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 4th, 2016 11:25 am
[OP]
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Aug 12, 2007
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Waterloo

filing a patent thru your employer.

What do you do , if you "attempt" to file a patent thru your employer and they reject it and they then steal your idea and file it without giving you credit. options?
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Mar 23, 2008
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Supahhh wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2016 8:31 pm
What do you do , if you "attempt" to file a patent thru your employer and they reject it and they then steal your idea and file it without giving you credit. options?
Do you have an employment contract with them? Typically, work related intellectual property belongs to them. I'd check that out.

After that, I'd speak to either a patent lawyer or an employment lawyer. Not sure which. Maybe both. How valuable is the patent, do you think?

C
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Jun 9, 2003
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Supahhh wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2016 8:31 pm
What do you do , if you "attempt" to file a patent thru your employer and they reject it and they then steal your idea and file it without giving you credit. options?
if you developed it under the time you were paid (i.e. during your usual work hours) or developed it using their equipment (i.e company tools, computers, etc)...then you'll lose.

a few episodes of this topic was used on Silicon Valley (HBO).
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Mar 23, 2008
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thelefteyeguy wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2016 11:21 am
Supahhh wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2016 8:31 pm
What do you do , if you "attempt" to file a patent thru your employer and they reject it and they then steal your idea and file it without giving you credit. options?
if you developed it under the time you were paid (i.e. during your usual work hours) or developed it using their equipment (i.e company tools, computers, etc)...then you'll lose.

a few episodes of this topic was used on Silicon Valley (HBO).
It could be more than that, depending on the employment agreement. If it was related to the employee's job description, it may be the company's property. AFAIK.

C
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Feb 15, 2010
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Surrey
It will depend on your employment contract. But likely your "credit" will be a good job for doing your job. The patent will be filed by your employer and likely does not even need to identify you as it is the Company's property.

Just like how 3M made a tonne of money for sticky notes while employee who actually created the product still works 9-5 and is no richer.
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Feb 29, 2012
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CNeufeld wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2016 11:47 am
If it was related to the employee's job description, it may be the company's property. AFAIK.
That's usually the case. The problem is that there's no feasible way to distinguish something that the employee supposedly developed "on their own time" when it's related to their paid employment. Are they going to claim that they never thought about it on company time? Never used company resources in any way? Didn't use the company's proprietary information? Didn't depend on company-provided training? Given the huge potential for lengthy legal disputes in this area, companies normally just make it clear in the employment agreement that anything you develop while employed with them that's related to your job belongs to the company. If you think you have a great idea, you'll have to leave the company to pursue it. But make sure you don't steal any company proprietary information, and check the duration of the post-employment non-compete clause in your employment agreement (usually 2-3 years).

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