MPEP 409.05
Application For Patent by an Assignee, Obligated Assignee, or a Person Who Otherwise Shows Sufficient Proprietary Interest – Application Filed On or After September 16, 2012

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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409.05    Application For Patent by an Assignee, Obligated Assignee, or a Person Who Otherwise Shows Sufficient Proprietary Interest – Application Filed On or After September 16, 2012 [R-07.2015]

[Editor Note: This MPEP section is only applicable to applications filed on or after September 16, 2012.]

37 C.F.R. 1.46 Application for patent by an assignee, obligated assignee, or a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.

  • (a) A person to whom the inventor has assigned or is under an obligation to assign the invention may make an application for patent. A person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter may make an application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties.
  • (b) If an application under 35 U.S.C. 111 is made by a person other than the inventor under paragraph (a) of this section, the application must contain an application data sheet under § 1.76 specifying in the applicant information section (§ 1.76(b)(7) ) the assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter. If an application entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, or a nonprovisional international design application, is applied for by a person other than the inventor under paragraph (a) of this section, the assignee, person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, or person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter must have been identified as the applicant for the United States in the international stage of the international application or as the applicant in the publication of the international registration under Hague Agreement Article 10(3).
    • (1) If the applicant is the assignee or a person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention, documentary evidence of ownership (e.g., assignment for an assignee, employment agreement for a person to whom the inventor is under an obligation to assign the invention) should be recorded as provided for in part 3 of this chapter no later than the date the issue fee is paid in the application.
    • (2) If the applicant is a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, such applicant must submit a petition including:
      • (i) The fee set forth in § 1.17(g)
      • (ii) A showing that such person has sufficient proprietary interest in the matter; and
      • (iii) A statement that making the application for patent by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter on behalf of and as agent for the inventor is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties.

37 C.F.R. 1.64  Substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration.

  • (a) An applicant under § 1.43, 1.45 or 1.46 may execute a substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration under § 1.63 if the inventor is deceased, is under a legal incapacity, has refused to execute the oath or declaration under § 1.63, or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort.
  • (b) A substitute statement under this section must:
    • (1) Comply with the requirements of § 1.63(a), identifying the inventor or joint inventor with respect to whom a substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration is executed, and stating upon information and belief the facts which such inventor is required to state;
    • (2) Identify the person executing the substitute statement and the relationship of such person to the inventor or joint inventor with respect to whom the substitute statement is executed, and unless such information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, the residence and mailing address of the person signing the substitute statement;
    • (3) Identify the circumstances permitting the person to execute the substitute statement in lieu of an oath or declaration under § 1.63, namely whether the inventor is deceased, is under a legal incapacity, cannot be found or reached after a diligent effort was made, or has refused to execute the oath or declaration under § 1.63; and
    • (4) Unless the following information is supplied in an application data sheet in accordance with § 1.76, also identify:
      • (i) Each inventor by his or her legal name; and
      • (ii) The last known mailing address where the inventor customarily receives mail, and last known residence, if an inventor lives at a location which is different from where the inventor customarily receives mail, for each inventor who is not deceased or under a legal incapacity.

I.    ASSIGNEE OR OBLIGATED ASSIGNEE

An assignee or obligated assignee may file a patent application as the applicant. An assignee or obligated assignee doing so should record documentary evidence of ownership (e.g., assignment for an assignee, employment agreement for an obligated assignee) as provided for in 37 CFR part 3 no later than the date the issue fee is paid in the application. See 37 CFR 1.46(b)(1).

See 37 CFR 1.64 concerning the execution of a substitute statement by an assignee or obligated assignee in lieu of an inventor’s oath or declaration (available when an inventor is deceased, is under a legal incapacity, cannot be found or reached after a diligent effort was made, or has refused to execute the oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63 ). See also MPEP § 604.

II.    SUFFICIENT PROPRIETARY INTEREST

37 CFR 1.46(a) provides that a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter may make an application for patent on behalf of and as agent for the inventor on proof of the pertinent facts and a showing that such action is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties. The ability for a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter to make an application for patent is not limited to situations in which all of the inventors refuse to execute the application, or cannot be found or reached after diligent effort.

Section 1.46(b)(2) provides that if the applicant is a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter, such applicant must submit a petition including: (1) The fee set forth in § 1.17(g); (2) a showing that such person has sufficient proprietary interest in the matter; and (3) a statement that making the application for patent by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest on behalf of and as agent for the inventor is appropriate to preserve the rights of the parties. See 37 CFR 1.64 concerning the execution of a substitute statement by a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter in lieu of an inventor’s oath or declaration. See also MPEP § 604.

A proprietary interest obtained other than by assignment or agreement to assign may be demonstrated by an appropriate legal memorandum to the effect that a court of competent jurisdiction (federal, state, or foreign) would by the weight of authority in that jurisdiction award title of the invention to the 37 CFR 1.46 applicant. The facts in support of any conclusion that a court would award title to the 37 CFR 1.46 applicant should be made of record by way of an affidavit or declaration of the person having firsthand knowledge of same. The legal memorandum should be prepared and signed by an attorney at law familiar with the law of the jurisdiction involved. A copy (in the English language) of a statute (if other than the United States statute) or a court decision (if other than a reported decision of a federal court or a decision reported in the United States Patents Quarterly) relied on to demonstrate a proprietary interest should be made of record.