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University advisor-student relation

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freelancing

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?
Alabama

Hi,
If I am a student co-inventor of a patent, can I use my patent without regard to the university, such as developing products with a company? Or can I license it to some company without regard to the university and my advisor? Is there any ristrictions on me as an co-inventor at all given I've never signed any sort of agreement with the university?
Thanks a lot!

Freelance
 


divgradcurl

Senior Member
freelancing said:
Is there any ristrictions on me as an co-inventor at all given I've never signed any sort of agreement with the university?
If you are absolutely certain that you have never agreed to assign your rights to any patents developed while a student at the University, then yes. However, if the University paid for the patent to get issued, you can almost guarantee that the University is the assignee. Has the patent issued yet? If so, is the patent assigned to anyone? If an assignee is listed on the patent, that's who gets to use the patent. If no assignee is listed, and if you are absolutely certain that you have never assigned your rights in any way, then you could use or license the patent yourself.
 

freelancing

Junior Member
divgradcurl If so said:
Thanks Divgradcurl, you are awsome!
The patent is not issued yet. And the unversity is certainly gonna be the assignee. So is there anyway I can use this patent without regard to the university? Are you saying that usually when universities apply for the patents, they ask and mandate the inventors to assign their rights to the universities? So basically, the inventors can't freely use their own inventions? Can I say no to assign my rights to them?
 

divgradcurl

Senior Member
So is there anyway I can use this patent without regard to the university?
Not without permission or a license from the assignee. If you use the invention without their permission, you would be infringing on their patent. Assignment means a transfer of ownership -- once a patent is assigned, the inventors have no further rights to the patent.

Are you saying that usually when universities apply for the patents, they ask and mandate the inventors to assign their rights to the universities?
That's the general rule for ANYONE who pays for research -- a university, a government lab, or a company. Employees, etc., are paid to invent, and the company of other entity doing the paying then gets the fruits of the labor.

So basically, the inventors can't freely use their own inventions?
If they assign their rights, no.

Can I say no to assign my rights to them?
Sounds like you already have assigned your rights, from what you've written. You may not remember signing anything, but you almost certainly signed at least some form that requires anything invented on the university's dime (or using university labs and equipment) gets assigned to the university. Further, if your advisor or the lab was getting grant money from the government, the government automatically gets to be at least a co-assignee.
 

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