Patent Transfers and Licenses

A patent is personal property and therefore may be sold to others or bequeathed by will. The transfer of a patent is called an assignment, and the transfer must be in writing to be valid. When the patent is assigned, the assignee becomes the owner of the patent and has all of the rights and obligations that the original owner had. Patents can also be transferred in part, such that the original owner retains a fractional part of ownership, and can be transferred only for a specified region or part of the United States. Typically, such limited transfers are called licenses, whereas a transfer of all of the rights in and to a patent is called an assignment.

Although recording of the assignment with the PTO is not required ...

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