Can I patent or copyright an invention I created for the company where I work? 3 Answers as of February 17, 2011

I created an Application that is used only at the location in which I work. The company is now selling my location. Can I patent my application after the sale?

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Devon & Associates
Devon & Associates | Marcia A. Devon
Possibly, depending on your position in the company and whether you signed an Invention agreement with the company. However, if a patent application is filed, it must be filed in the U.S. within one year of the date it is first publicly used or offered for sale. I would seek legal assistance from a qualified patent attorney immediately.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/17/2011
DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
The inventor of a patentable invention is the default owner of his/her invention rights, unless he/she is an employee who is hired to invent and/or whose employment responsibilities result in the invention. For non-employees, a contract or agreement typically controls the ownership. Employers may also have a "shop right" in the use of the invention, even if the employee/inventor retains ownership rights. Ownership of employee-made inventions usually relies heavily on the facts and on state law. You'll should consult with an intellectual property (IP) lawyer in your state. The patentability of the invention is a separate issue, which you should discuss with your IP lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 2/17/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
If it is more than a year since it has been first used it is too late to patent it. If not and there is no agreement or company employee manual that requires you to assign all of your patentable inventions to them, then you can file the patent under your name. Or even better to copyright the code.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/14/2011
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