Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:38 AM
Following on from this article:
I have discussed options with a patent attorney. They have suggested I challenge for ownership of the patent and take control of it to allow for any royalties or settlement to be negotiated.
Has anyone done this before? Any thoughts, hints or tips?
Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:54 AM
Expect long and expensive, where patent lawyers are involved, process here, me thinks. If it's a product/service/process that's worth millions to them, I guess they'll be quite keen to defend their position and presumably have somewhat deeper pockets. Hope you kept lots of documentation and copies of communications with this manufacturer in order to back things up.
See if you can get in contact with matey boy in the BBC article and see if he has any advice? Might be findable through Faecesbook etc.
Posted 21 November 2019 - 12:47 PM
First port of call is to see how they have justified ownership during filing. That's 'only'120 quid. This could be key.
Posted 21 November 2019 - 02:59 PM
Where I work (where I create new consumer research products and tech) it clearly states in my contract all that I create is owned by the company and I have no right to the IP and when I leave all the rights and IP is retained by the company. I am guessing that in the chaps case on the BBC report that sort of clarity was not in place back in the 80s within his working contract?
I think you situation is different, were you under contract with this manufacturing company, did you sign anything?
Posted 22 November 2019 - 05:33 AM
Go there only if you can afford £800 per hour for a patent lawer
Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:51 AM
There is a very nice guy I race with who is a patent attorney, he has successfully defended quite a few small businesses against some very big companies (one being Monster Energy Drinks). He is a very enthusiastic, friendly and involved man, you should give him a call to discuss options.
Tell him Steve Arnell directed you his way
Eta - his name is Michael Downing.
Edited by SteveA, 22 November 2019 - 08:53 AM.
Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:16 AM
I now have the document stating why the company believe they own the rights. It'll be complicated this one!
At the time I worked in Pharma. My role was in drug discovery. I did have a contract that states anything I discover during normal duties belongs to the company as you'd expect. Obviously this invention is beyond the scope of my role at the time. However, the offending company believe they obtained the rights from my employer by means of my contract. I imagine this could prove interesting should they approach my previous employer about transferring something they may not have owned. The lawyer I've spoken to lists these as 'owned' by my contract
- an invention that is made during “normal duties”;
- an invention that is made during “specifically assigned duties”;
- an invention that is made by an employee who has a “special obligation” to further the interests of the employer.
Given this was an evening shed session invention it clears these criteria but it makes my eye twitch a little.
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