Monday, September 24, 2007

Trying to patent an older idea with a new employer?

Steven Sereboff attempts an answer to the following question:

A few years ago, I submitted about one dozen patent leads to a previous employer; they were all ignored. One idea in particular was probably not suitable for implementation by that employer at the board and module level.

I am now working for a major chip design company, and I submitted the same idea for patenting, which appears to be more feasible on a chip. This company is interested and started the patent process. I told the patent attorney about having applied the idea before to another company. He concluded that because there was disclosure of the idea in written form, it was legally a trade secret belonging to my former employer and could be prosecuted as theft of trade secrets, so we have not proceeded.

I recently did a search of patents issued and pending that are assigned to my previous employer, and nothing even close to my idea is in there. Is there any chance of patenting this idea now?

and brings up the story of Dr. Lukas van Ginneken who left Synopsys to work at Magma.

Recall also the story of Ewen, Fina, and Exxon.

Recall also the story of Joe Jackson and patent attorney Michael R. McKenna. As an aside, LBE has been attempting to contact Rev. C.L. Sparks, without any success.

**From IPBiz in September 2004 on Ewen:

--> John Ewen on Ewen:

I wanted to do academic research but my pedigree was not good enough to get a teaching position at a University. I therefore pursued employment in a long range oriented group at Exxon where I formulated some of my early research proposals. When Exxon eventually rejected some of my dearest ideas as impractical I moved on to be a plant chemist and pursued them as a hobby at night while working at Fina. What inspired me? Simple: The skepticism of those around me and the desire to succeed. I needed to be right and above the prejudices against my pedigree. The academic standards needed to be wrong. I would never quit. I needed to prove that my ideas were worthwhile.


"I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the President of the United States," Ewen said. "It is gratifying to realize the benefit that has resulted in our daily lives as a result of metallocene technology -- creating thousands of jobs worldwide and enhancing everyday items such as golf balls, medical IV bags, CD oysters, food wrapping, luggage and automobile parts, clothing, and more."


Post a Comment

<< Home