Tampa Area Inventors’ Questions Answered: Who is an inventor?

Inventors’ Patent Questions Answered in the St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, Clearwater and Sarasota Areas

The St. Petersburg, Florida Office of Patent Attorney Thomas Frost often receives questions from Florida independent inventors and others interested in legal protection for their intellectual property.  One such question that arises is the legal determination of who in the inventor of an idea or product.

At various times a dispute may arise as to whether an individual is an inventor entitled to file for a patent.  To be an inventor a person must contribute in some significant manner to the conception of the invention.  Conception has been defined as formation in the mind of a definite and permanent idea of the complete operative invention and method of obtaining it. There can be joint inventors who may have exchanged ideas until the invention resulted.  Both have contributed.

Ownership of a patent and the inventors filing for a patent involve two different, although sometimes the same, groups.  Only inventors (or their assignees) can file for a patent.

The “money man” who funds the patent application is not an inventor, although there may be some contractual ownership rights. The spouse or parent of an inventor is not a co-inventor simply based upon status.  A government entity or business is not an inventor for an invention conceived by an employee.  These groups may have ownership interests, but are not considered inventors and have to rely on assignment of rights to file a patent application.

If you have patent or trademark questions in the Central Florida area, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota or Orlando, contact the St. Petersburg Office of Patent Attorney Thomas Frost for further information about protection for your intellectual property rights with either patent protection, trademarks or by forming a business entity.

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