Who owns a patent?

Following its last judgement of 2022, the Patents Court has provided further guidance on who, between the invention and employer, may own the Intellectual Property Rights for an invention.


Who owns a patent, initially the inventors and the question then is whether the rights of the inventors may automatically transfer to another party, for example an employer. As a company, you therefore need to be quite careful about who the inventors of a patent are as it can lead, as in the recent case of Oxford University Innovation Ltd v Oxford Nanoimaging Ltd, to situations where there is some doubt and quite a lot of dispute about ownership. This is an important part of the service we provide to help make sure that inventorship is properly recorded and if necessary suitable agreements, called assignments, are put in place so that everybody is clear, particularly for in the future.