Patent Reversion: An Employee-Inventor's Second Bite at the Apple
11 Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property 186
27 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 26 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 25, 2012
In an attempt to more fully compensate employee-inventors without harming the return on investment of employers, a patent reversion is proposed similar to that already in place in copyright law. In Section II, the background of the relationship between employer and employee-inventor will be discussed in terms of patent rights. This section will outline the problems inherent in the pre-assignment status quo of these rights from employees to employers. Section III will begin with Part A, which is a review of previously proposed solutions to the under-compensation of employee-inventors. The second part of Section III will discuss the proposed patent reversion and why it should be implemented. Part B(1) will begin with a discussion of the reversion found in copyright which terminates transfers and licenses granted by the author based on a statutorily defined process and time period. Part B(2) of Section III will propose applying a reversion of patent rights to the inventor during the last part of the patent’s exclusivity period. Both the theoretical and practical problems associated with a patent reversion are discussed along with how the reversion can be implemented to create solutions. In Section IV, the conclusion will give a brief outline of what was discussed and propose that a patent reversion should be implemented in the future.
Keywords: patent reversion, employee-inventor, copyright reversion
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