©2017. Published in Landslide, Vol. 10, No. 1, September/October 2017, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.
Inventorship is a small but critical aspect of a patent application. The inventorship on a patent application can (depending on both the territory in which patent protection is sought and when the application for patent was filed) define who qualifies as the owner of any resulting patent(s). Incorrect inventorship can render the patent unenforceable, not to mention the possible repercussions to those involved in the drafting/examination, if there are suspicions. Errors in inventorship can be discovered at any time: the initial filing stage, during the examination stage, and even after the patent has issued. Although errors in inventorship can usually be corrected, these errors can affect how and whether the patent can be enforced. Following is a brief survey of international perspectives on inventorship, using the United States and Australia as examples.
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