7 Jul 2022


Patent Laws in USA and China

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Academic level: Ph.D.

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Organizations and individuals persistently invent due to the need to create a unique and original product. Sometimes individuals or a group of people create inventions and in some cases the government champions such inventions. After a person, an employee, or a group of people create an invention, it is always important for them to register and obtain patent rights. However, bodies responsible for patenting often face a problem of identifying who is or are the inventors of the created project. In some instances, some people aim to include their family members because they have assisted them financially, whereas in other cases, some people wonder whether the inventor, who contributed less to the creation, should be included in the patent registrations. Moreover, employees find themselves at crossroads especially once they create an invention for an organization. In such a case, most of them wonder who should own the invention, is it the employee or the organization. Therefore, the discussion below aims to shed light on patent rights and how to register an invention. 

Invention refers to an individual or a group of people creating a new product or service (Gatarri, 2005) . The topic of inventions confuses so much on who should and who should not be involved in patent application procedures. Moreover, it is important to note that different countries have different laws that govern inventions and patent applications. For example, the laws in China and Hon Kong state that any invention or creation that is completed when a person is performing employment duties, by using the technical conditions or by using the materials provided by an employer, belongs to the employer. 

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However, in such cases, since the employer did not take part in the creation of the intention, the employer should pay the employee (inventors) some amount of money, which is usually paid once. The Chinese and Hon Kong laws also state that if one person creates an invention, then the individual has the right to own the creation and can easily apply for patent ownerships. The law also states that any person who only helps in organizational and other assistive work during the course of the invention shall not be considered a creator or an inventor. Similarly, the laws from the two countries state that if the creation was made through a joint invention, then the two creators shall have the right to own the patents. 

Therefore, joint inventions refers to a situation when two or more people come together to create innovate. In many cases, creations are always provided by two or more people working together. Initially, it is just one person who may have the idea and create the blueprint for the creations. Then in the process of making the invention, a second person comes in to help the person with some ideas to improve some levels in the intended invention. On the same note, a third party may come in and propose an idea that greatly improves the overall reactions. Thus, the whole creation would not have been accomplished without the second and the third person. Therefore, the three people are said to have taken part in a joint venture and will therefore apply for the ownership of the patent at the same time. 

The laws in China and Hong Kong state that when two or more people are involved in coming up with an invention, then the partners are covered by laws stated under joint inventorship. Moreover, all the three have the right to apply for the ownership of the patent to the creation. Moreover, the laws in the United States state that when two or more people create an invention jointly, they shall all apply for patent jointly and make the same oath and declarations at the same time. This occurs irrespective of the fact that they did not work from the same location, make the same amount of contribution or each did not make the contribution to the subject matter (Hulse, nd) . 

Moreover, there are several laws that protect inventions done by employees working in a given organization. In many cases, employees come up with inventions when they are using organizational materials. Similarly, some employees also create invention by receiving technical help and financial assistance from the leaders in the organization in which they work. The laws in China and Hong Kong state that any invention created while undertaking employee duties, and by receiving technical and other forms of assistance from the employer belongs to the employer (Hulse, nd) . In this case, the inventor does not have any rights to the invention. However, the patents rights rest with the employer and the law also expects the employer to compensate the inventor or inventors by paying them some agreed amount. The laws in Europe also require employers to compensate employees for their creations or inventions. 

Moreover, the Laws in the United States also require that organizations should as well compensate the employees who create various inventions for their organizations (Hulse, nd) . It is evident that many countries require employers to pay their employees some amounts of money for taking part in, as well as using their skills to create patents for different firms. The amounts of money paid to the employees for their creations also vary from on nation to the other. For example, in Europe, the law requires the employers to pay up to 82% of the amount, whereas the compensations in China can be RMB 3000 or $1000 for patent invention and an additional RMB 1000 for design and utility model patent (Hulse, nd) .. 

Furthermore, research study by Malek (2013) states that investors need to be careful when applying for patents of their inventions because any incorrect application may lead to invalidations. The author reports that most people always want to include relatives such as their parents or brothers who helped them financially. Some also aim to include the names of the people who inspired them to create such inventions. Malek (2013), states that when such scenarios occur, the end result is that the application will be invalidated. 

Therefore, it is important for patent applicants to include the correct names and the corresponding declarations that accompany the patents. If the invention was created by an employee, the employers should provide the necessary declaration while applying for the patent. On the same note, joint and individual inventors also need to make the right applications and include the right names while applying for patents. 

Individual, organizations and governments always strive to create unique products and services every day. Some people create new inventions while working for an organization while others also make such creations on their own. Moreover, some creations are created by two or more people. Irrespective of the circumstance of creation, a person needs to apply for the patent of the new creation. In that case, the law states that any person who comes up with a new creation while working for an organization has no rights to such creations. On the other hand, sole creators have the right to apply for the patents individually while a group of creators also have the right to apply for patents jointly. On the same note, the law requires that patent creators should be careful on the names they include in patent applications because any irregularities can lead to invalidation of such applications. Therefore, sole, joint, and organizational patent applicants must include the right names, details of the invention and scope of the invention and accompany it with the necessary declarations for such applications to be valid. 


Gatarri, P. (2005). Determining Inventorship for US Patent Applications. Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal Vol 17 Issue No 5 , 16-21. 

Hulse, R. (nd). Correct Inventorship Prevents Patent Application Headaches. FENWICK $ WEST. 

Malek, M. (2013). The Effect Of Listing An Improper Inventor On A Patent Application. Florida. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Patent Laws in USA and China.


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