Who is the patent legally assigned to? 2 Answers as of March 30, 2011

A patent was granted to me and a partner as co-inventors, then it was assigned to an LLC that included a third, investment partner who did not contribute to the design of the invention. If the LLC is dissolved for example, because of neglected yearly upkeep payments does that mean that the patent automatically reverts back to the two of us originally named on the patent? Thanks very much for any information you can give on this.

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DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
Under the patent law, the patent is the property of the inventor(s), unless there is a legal obligation or voluntary assignment of the rights to a third party. Under Ohio law, upon the winding up of a limited liability company and the liquidation of its assets, the assets must be distributed in the following order: (1) To the extent permitted by law, to members who are creditors and other creditors in satisfaction of liabilities of the company other than liabilities for distributions to members; (2) Except as otherwise provided in the operating agreement, to members and former members in satisfaction of liabilities for distributions to members; (3) Except as otherwise provided in the operating agreement, to members as follows: (a) First, for the return of their contributions; (b) Second, with respect to their membership interests. A clear determination of what contributed assets might be returned to you, cannot be made without knowing the substance of any operating agreements and any outstanding liabilities and other assets available in the LLC.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/30/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Not necessarily - there must be a winding up of the company assets - including the patent, wherein the distribution may be different.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/13/2011
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