35 U.S.C. 116: Inventors

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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35 U.S.C. 116 Inventors.

[Editor Note: Applicable to proceedings commenced on or after Sept. 16, 2012. See 35 U.S.C. 116 (pre‑AIA) for the law otherwise applicable.]

  • (a) JOINT INVENTIONS.—When an invention is made by two or more persons jointly, they shall apply for patent jointly and each make the required oath, except as otherwise provided in this title. Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though (1) they did not physically work together or at the same time, (2) each did not make the same type or amount of contribution, or (3) each did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the patent.
  • (b) OMITTED INVENTOR.—If a joint inventor refuses to join in an application for patent or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort, the application may be made by the other inventor on behalf of himself and the omitted inventor. The Director, on proof of the pertinent facts and after such notice to the omitted inventor as he prescribes, may grant a patent to the inventor making the application, subject to the same rights which the omitted inventor would have had if he had been joined. The omitted inventor may subsequently join in the application.
  • (c) CORRECTION OF ERRORS IN APPLICATION.—Whenever through error a person is named in an application for patent as the inventor, or through an error an inventor is not named in an application, the Director may permit the application to be amended accordingly, under such terms as he prescribes.

(Amended Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 6(a), 96 Stat. 320; Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 104(a), 98 Stat. 3384; Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-582 (S. 1948 sec. 4732(a)(10)(A)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, sec. 20(a), 125 Stat. 284, effective Sept. 16, 2012.)