Importance of Signatures During the Patent Process
Northwestern innovators frequently work with INVO to obtain patent protection and commercialize their discoveries. One critical part of this process is the gathering of inventor signatures on important legal documentation. This deadline-driven documentation frequently requires handwritten signatures and original copies returned to INVO. Failure to timely provide certain legal documentation may result in permanent loss of rights. Promptly returning requested documents with legally-effective signatures will support INVO’s efforts to ensure that your discoveries are able to be protected and commercialized.
Inventors are most commonly asked to sign the following types of documents pertaining to a patent application:
- Declaration – This document is an acknowledgement that the identified inventor believes himself or herself to be the original inventor or an original joint inventor of a claimed invention in the application. A patent will not be granted without properly executed declarations from each named inventor. Sample declaration document.
- Assignment – This document confirms assignment of ownership in the identified invention and patent application(s) to the University, in alignment with the University Patent and Invention Policy and any pertinent sponsored research agreement. Sample assignment document.
Per the University Patent and Invention Policy, Northwestern inventors are expected to cooperate and participate in patent protection, including signatures on appropriate documents. Any questions regarding these obligations should be directed to INVO.