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Applicant V/s Inventor

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Difference Between an Applicant and Inventor

The deep meaning of the two terminology Applicant and Inventor in Patent can conclude it can be the same or different entity. It all depends upon the circumstances. An applicant is a person who is seeking the rights of the Patent. At the same time, the Inventor is the creator of the Intellectual Property. There is a difference between an applicant and inventor in Patent, but there are similarities. While reviewing the literature on patents, a person may get confused with the terms’ inventor’ and ‘applicant.’ Often these terms are used interchangeably in layman’s language. But on a legal basis, these terms have different connotations and meanings, which may affect a person dealing with patents. Let us dissect these terms for you.

Who is an inventor?

An inventor is an individual who has played a role in conceiving the invention or contributed to reducing the story to practice. The contribution of an inventor is evident in the creation of a dream. For Example, an artist is the creator of the art, the actual Inventor. But, the rights belong to the brand it is working under, and those are not the Inventor but rather the patent holder.  The person must have played a critical role in the process using ingenuity and creativity. Every person who has played such a role gets a right to be mentioned in the patent document. And entitled as Inventor. It is expected that the same person might not be entitled to the commercial benefits of the invention. Even if you are the Inventor, you might not be the patent holder, and the monetary use of a patent is unavailable to you.  It has to be clear that a company cannot be called an inventor. It has to be an honest individual who has played a significant role. Hence, a team of individual or contributors are not mentioned. Instead, just an individual is given all the credits and has the title of Inventor. Contrary to the popular notion, a person who has merely supervised the Inventor. Or has acted under the direction or supervision of the Inventor cannot be an inventor. Thus, you are the Inventor only if you did the invention.  For Example: A person, though in a superior capacity and designation, has not played a role in conceiving an invention or reducing it to practice and cannot claim to be an inventor. A person leading the team or in charge is not an inventor.  A lab assistant or a person maintaining the computer system cannot claim a right to become an inventor. The level of contribution is to be the highest and not just a mere contribution per a job role.  A person doing an internship and working under the guidance and direction of the Inventor cannot claim the right to be an inventor. So, all the trainees need to have their invention to have the entitlement of an inventor.  All the above examples make it clear that certainly, an inventor can be a patent applicant, but in a few cases, it might not be the same person. 

Who is the patent applicant?

A patent applicant is a person who has the right to file a patent for the invention in the patent office. The entity may or may not be an inventor. The application is filed with the help of the lawyer. It is a technical task that is to be error-free. The four significant inclusions of a patent application:
  1. Initial pages
  2. Drawing of the invention
  3. A detailed explanation of the specification of the drawing.
  4. Claims by the patent applicant. 
A patent application needs to be free from possible errors. It helps to avoid rejection and ensure acceptance of the application. Plus, one must understand the difference between an applicant and inventor to prevent confusion. There are instances when people are in disbelief and get con. Yes, the patent holder or the patent applicant ultimately gets the monetary benefits of owning it. But, it has no direct economic benefit for the Inventor. The roles are clear, and the benefits are as well. 
Learn more about your role as an applicant or inventor. Our Representative will guide you with Precision.

In India, the following persons get the right to file a patent for an innovation in the patent office :

The Inventor himself- The Inventor is the primary contributor to the creation of the Inventor. For Example, an artist is a contributor to the art and thus considered an inventor. The Assignee of the Inventor– You must be wondering what an Assignee is in the Patent. The person who owns the right of the Patent and receives the claim of the Patent. An assignee may not be the Inventor or maybe an inventor. All the monetary benefits of the IPR are receivable by the Assignee. Hence, the comparison of patent applicant vs Inventor can be concluded as both could be the same. Still, only the applicant is one that enjoys the monetary benefit of the claims. The legal representative of any deceased inventor or Assignee– The person with legal rights towards the entitlement of the Inventor or Assignee who is no longer alive.  The applicant may either make the application in the Patent Office himself or jointly with any other person.

Applicant vs Assignee patent

A patent applicant, as described above, is the person who applies for the Patent. And could be an assignee of the Patent as well. But, Assignee may or may not be the applicant. Therefore, an applicant could be Assignee or vice-versa. The Inventor’s Assignee is the person with whom the Inventor has entered into a contract. The Assignee has all the rights to exploit the invention commercially. Plus, it has given that person all the rights to deal with the Patent. Generally, in an employment agreement, the employee assigns all patent rights from their work to the organization. So the organization can file a patent as an applicant. Therefore, an inventor has to be an individual, but the Assignee can be an individual or a company. It is a significant difference between an applicant and inventor in a Patent. In another scenario, the organization in which the invention has been made may assign its patent rights to another organization. So the organization that gets the rights subsequently may file for a patent as an applicant. A legal representative of a person is the successor of a deceased person. Patent rights are not exhausted with the death of the person holding such right. Their successors may also benefit from such rights till the expiry of the patent term. Finally, the comparison of patent applicant vs Assignee must be clear with the above notions. 

Role of Patent Agent

The applicant is generally burdened with various responsibilities of the business. They might miss out on essential formalities like filing documents concerning patent applications. These formalities are of paramount importance, as the Patent Office may refuse to grant a patent if they consider the delay neglectful and intentional. Therefore, in most cases, the applicant appoints a patent agent who is a qualified professional for practice before the Patent Office. The Patent Agent must prepare all documents and transact all business regarding the Patent. A Patent Agent does not derive any benefit from the commercial exploitation of the invention, except for charging a professional fee for their services.