How many people can be named on a patent? 16 Answers as of September 19, 2013

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
I do not believe there is a limit. The patent in your case will show as the inventors Joe Blow et al.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/19/2013
Carrier, Blackman & Associates | William D Blackman
Intellectual property law offices? Carrier, Black man & Associates, P.C.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/19/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
I don't believe there is a limit on the number of names on a patent. However, before you proceed any further with your project, you all need to sit down and create a document that indicates whether each of you owns an equal share of the project or whether certain persons deserve greater credit and financial recompense for their work, should this project be successful. Each person needs to sign this and understand that he/she will be bound by it. Way too many projects fall apart after the product is created because the inventors/creators can't agree on how the product will be marketed and who is entitled to the profits.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/19/2013
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
As many names as there are inventors - as each inventor must be named. I handled a patent once with eight inventors! Who is an inventor? Someone who contributes to the "conception" of the invention - the "working idea" of the invention. This can be a "group" effort. Also, someone who contributes something "more than routine skill" to the "reduction to practice" of the invention can be an inventor. For example - during the RTP or "building of the invention" - a problem is discovered and a "unique solution" is found by one, two, etc. people - they can also be inventors even if they did not participate in the original "conception" of the invention. Patents have "claims" that define the invention - and the claims dictate who must be named as an inventor. Talk to a patent attorney - tell him/her who did what - and then both the invention and the inventors will be determined.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/19/2013
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
You should name everyone who actually contributed to the inventive aspects of the invention - no limit on number. You should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era. I would recommend the use of software from PowerPatent.com called ProvisionalBuilder. Software costs $99 so it is very inexpensive yet guides you to prepare a high quality patent application that one year later you can turn to a lawyer to convert into a utility application for you. A feature summary is at http://www.powerpatent.com/prwelcome the software helps you organize information, and through your summary description, brings back sample patents in the same field for you to use as examples.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/19/2013
    The Smith Law Office; P.C. | Jason David Smith
    You must list all inventors.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Eminent IP, P.C.
    Eminent IP, P.C. | Paul C. Oestreich
    There is no limit in the number of co-inventors on a patent application. However, it is important that each inventor have made some contribution to the concept of the invention as described in the claims of the patent application, otherwise they are not inventors.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    DANIEL NESBITT
    DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
    Each inventor who has contributed to the conception or reduction to practice of the claimed invention is an inventor. It is generally not inventive activity to conceive conventional elements. Only true inventors should be named. Adding a person's name as an inventor for fraudulent purposes can invalidate the issued patent.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Preti Flaherty
    Preti Flaherty | Gregory P. Hansel
    The U.S Patent and Trademark Office, and U.S. Patent law permit multiple inventors to apply for, and receive, a patent, provided they are the actual inventors. Two or more inventors may apply for a patent provided they are joint inventors. The larger the number, the more difficult it may be to establish that all of the applicants are inventors. I recommend that you consult a patent law firm to protect your potentially valuable intellectual property rights. There have been major changes in U.S. Patent law in the last year. Be sure to seek legal advice to maximize the value of your invention! Best of luck with your team's creation!
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    There is no limit to the number of inventors that are named on a patent application. They must all be named as inventors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Gerald R. Black, Esq.
    Gerald R. Black, Esq. | Gerald R. Black
    This is an excellent question. Inventorship is a pitfall of Patent Law. Anyone who contributes to the inventive concept must be listed as a co-inventor. However, a friend, department head, significant other, or investor must not be listed as a co-inventor if he/she, in fact, did not contribute to the inventive concept. However, if a group of friends want to launch a project, what they must do is first protect the technology by filing a Patent Application and naming the true inventor or inventors. The true inventor or inventors can assign the Patent Application to the enterprise, and the friends should have a side agreement dividing up equity interest in the enterprise. The true inventor or inventors must be named in the Patent Application, regardless of who owns the rights to the Patent Application. A Patent Application requires that the applicant sign a statement that he believes that he/she is "the first and true inventor." If the statement is signed and submitted and the individual knows that the statement is false: a fraud has been committed; no rights have been conferred; and any subsequent Patent is unenforceable and invalid. You will be well advised to seek the assistance of counsel - and good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/19/2013
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