Assignee Filing (Sec. 4)

Permits applications to be filed in the name of the filing company or other organization

The PIA Viewpoint

For the first time in U.S. history – under this bill – a patent can be awarded directly to companies rather than the actual inventor. This is not what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the Constitution that grants exclusive protection of rights to inventors of their discoveries. Under the current law, it is difficult for an employer to file a patent application when the inventor refuses to sign a declaration or is otherwise unavailable.

The proposal enables this to be done without the inventor's assistance. Generally, employees of businesses now sign contracts, which normally include any work done by the employee, that transfer ownership of the patent to the business. This provision further empowers corporations over their inventor-employees.