35 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 35 - PATENTS
PART III - PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF PATENT RIGHTS
CHAPTER 26 - OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 26—OWNERSHIP AND ASSIGNMENT

Sec.
261.
Ownership; assignment.
262.
Joint owners.

        

§261. Ownership; assignment

Subject to the provisions of this title, patents shall have the attributes of personal property.

Applications for patent, patents, or any interest therein, shall be assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The applicant, patentee, or his assigns or legal representatives may in like manner grant and convey an exclusive right under his application for patent, or patents, to the whole or any specified part of the United States.

A certificate of acknowledgment under the hand and official seal of a person authorized to administer oaths within the United States, or, in a foreign country, of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or an officer authorized to administer oaths whose authority is proved by a certificate of a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States, shall be prima facie evidence of the execution of an assignment, grant or conveyance of a patent or application for patent.

An assignment, grant or conveyance shall be void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee for a valuable consideration, without notice, unless it is recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office within three months from its date or prior to the date of such subsequent purchase or mortgage.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 93–596, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 97–247, §14(b), Aug. 27, 1982, 96 Stat. 321.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on Title 35, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §47 (R.S. 4898, amended (1) Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 391, §5, 29 Stat. 93, (2) Feb. 18, 1922, ch. 58, §6, 42 Stat. 391, (3) Aug. 18, 1941, ch. 370, 55 Stat. 634).

The first paragraph is new but is declaratory only. The second paragraph is the same as in the corresponding section of existing statute. The third paragraph is from the existing statute, a specific reference to another statute is omitted. The fourth paragraph is the same as the existing statute but language has been changed.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–247 inserted “, or apostille of an official designated by a foreign country which, by treaty or convention, accords like effect to apostilles of designated officials in the United States”.

1975—Pub. L. 93–596 substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–247 effective Aug. 27, 1982, see section 17(a) of Pub. L. 97–247, set out as a note under section 41 of this title.

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596 effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

§262. Joint owners

In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.

(July 19, 1952, ch. 950, 66 Stat. 810; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, §533(b)(3), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4989.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section states a condition in existing law not expressed in the existing statutes.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “use, offer to sell, or sell” for “use or sell” and inserted “within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States,” after “invention”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on date that is one year after date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995], with provisions relating to earliest filed patent application, see section 534(a), (b)(3) of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 154 of this title.