Assignment and Recordation of Patent Ownership Rights –
A patent has the attributes of intangible personal property: it can be sold or mortgaged; it may be bequeathed by a will; and it may pass to the heirs of a deceased patentee. The patent law provides for the transfer or sale of a patent, or of an application for patent, by an instrument in writing. An assignment is such an instrument and may transfer the entire interest or a partial interest in the patent. The assignee becomes the owner of the patent and has the same rights that the original patentee had. There may also be a territorial grant or license that conveys the same character of interest as an assignment but only for a particularly specified part of the United States. A security interest, or mortgage, of patent property passes ownership to the mortgagee or lender until the mortgage has been satisfied and transferred back to the mortgagor, or borrower. A conditional assignment may also pass ownership of the patent until canceled by the parties or by court decree.
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