Definition of Joint Research Agreement

A joint research agreement is defined as a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.

Joint research agreements are relevant to exceptions to 102(a)(2) disclosures as set forth in 102(b)(2)(C).


Patent Inventor vs Applicant

“Inventor” and “Applicant” are no longer synonymous under the AIA.

The term “Applicant” can include inventor(s), assignee(s), or others with a proprietary interest.

When considering a prior art or a double patenting rejection, an examiner should remember that someone listed as an applicant is not necessarily an inventor.


Definitions of Inventor and Joint Inventor

“Inventor” is defined as the individual or, if a joint
invention, the individuals collectively who invented or
discovered the subject matter of the invention.
– The terms “inventive entity” and “inventorship” are not
statutory terms, but have the same meaning as the
term “inventor”.

“Joint inventor” and “co-inventor” are both defined as any
one of the individuals who invented or discovered the
subject matter of a joint invention.

Illustration 1: Inventor v. Joint Inventor