"Employer or Employee: Who Owns the Patent?" R. Eric Gaum, Esq.

Determining whether an assignment of patent rights is automatic (requiring no further act on the part of the assignee) or whether merely a “promise to assign” exists involves looking at the contractual language used. If a contract expressly grants rights in future inventions, then no further act is required once an invention comes into being, and title transfers by operation of law alone.