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my employer want me to come in a sign patent paperwork. California

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  • my employer want me to come in a sign patent paperwork. California

    I am in california.

    I was layoff 2 months ago. My former employer want me to go in and sign patent paperwork.

    They called just called me up and ask me to come in or meet somewhere to sign the patent paperwork.

    I said I am kind of bussy now and I don't work for you any more. And can you folkes do this without me. Because it will take me about 4 hours to review the patent. My former company is in the habbit of asking people to sign thing without giving people time to reading it. They then said I was legally obligated to sign to come in and sign it.

    I then said how does the company A (the company that my former employer higer to adminster hr and payrole they are technically my employer) feel demanding a former employee to come in to sign paperwork. They said the patten have nothing to do with company A. And if I don't come in they will have the patent attorney call me to inform me of the consequence.

    The patent was created during my employment I am the inventor. I did not sign my right as part of my employment. But the patent has not been formaly approval by the patten office. And while I was their employee I would review the patent and modify and add to the patents. So if they are asking me to sign and release to them the latest version it would be different to what I have sign while I was their employee. But for me to sign it I have to review the patten (who is to say they, my former company, did not add something that I invented that was outside of the company.)

    If it sould like I don't trust my former employer you are right. I have good reasons.

    Am I legally obligated to go in and sign the patent? I don't see anything in my seperation paperwork that said I have to go in a sign thing after the fact. And the other thing is that it is work for me to go in and review the patten.

    So I contact and report this situation to HR in company A.

  • #2
    No, you are not required to go sign away whatever rights you may have in an invention to a former employer.

    If I understand you correctly, you were not actually an employee of the company in question. It appears that you were job-shopped by Company A, probably because the company was able to give you less benefits than their regular employees. I'm guessing that, in that process they failed to have you complete intellectual property documents which would give them the rights to anything that you invented. If they had done that, they wouldn't be after you for a signature.

    I wouldn't worry about a call from a patent attorney. I am curious about what threats he may throw at you; but, they would be idle threats. -- Please don't take this as an insult, I mean it to help you: Your English is very poor and that may be a factor in them feeling that they can push you around.

    Since they are bugging you on this, there may be value in your invention. I find it repugnant that they would lay you off and then try to steal whatever rights you have to the patent.

    I recommend that you (1) don't sign anything and (2) contact an attorney specializing in intellectual property rights. Explain the situation. There may be enough potential value for an attorney to take your case on contingency. Not a case to defend you from refusing to sign their form, but a case to get a monetary settlement, which could include long term royalties, for your legal
    rights in the invention.
    Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.


    • #3
      I'm with Scott.
      I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
      Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
      I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
      Don't worry, be happy. is a good resource!


      • #4
        to clearify.

        I am an employee of my fromer employer. Company A is a company my former employer hire last year to adminster our benefits and pay check. However, according to company A they are my empolyers. It seem my former employer gave "power of attorney" to Company A for hr and pay matters. Company A handled my separation paperwork "lay off".

        My question is regardless of wheather I sign my pattents rights to my former employer while I was working there or wheather it is implied that they own the patten because I was their employee. I want to make sure I am not obligated to go in on demand to sign or review pattens or sign anything for that matter.

        p.s. I did not take it as an insult regarding my english, english is my second language.


        • #5
          No. You are not obligated to sign anything, review anything, or for that matter, to meet with them.

          I understand the relationship between the two companies, but it doesn't change your obligations or your intellectual property rights.

          Do consider speaking to an attorney as I suggested before. There are many ways that things like this can be structured - more possibilities than we can reasonably cover here. And many more details about the specifics of the invention, the origin of the concept and what actually took place before, during, and after your employment with these companies are needed. A good intellectual property attorney can help you sort through these things.
          Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.


          The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.