Section 13

Mention of inventor

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13.-(1) The inventor or joint inventors of an invention shall have a right to be mentioned as such in any patent granted for the invention and shall also have a right to be so mentioned if possible in any published application for a patent for the invention and, if not so mentioned, a right to be so mentioned in accordance with rules in a prescribed document.

(2) Unless he has already given the Patent Office the information hereinafter mentioned, an applicant for a patent shall within the prescribed period [Rule 10: 16 months from filing/priority; extendable under rules 108(2) & (3)] file with the Patent Office a statement -

  • (a) identifying the person or persons whom he believes to be the inventor or inventors; and
  • (b) where the applicant is not the sole inventor or the applicants are not the joint inventors, indicating the derivation of his or their right to be granted the patent;

and, if he fails to do so, the application shall be taken to be withdrawn.

(3) Where a person has been mentioned as sole or joint inventor in pursuance of this section, any other person who alleges that the former ought not to have been so mentioned may at any time apply to the comptroller for a certificate to that effect, and the comptroller may issue such a certificate; and if he does so, he shall accordingly rectify any undistributed copies of the patent and of any documents prescribed for the purposes of subsection (1) above.

Manual of Patent Practice
Rules 10 and 11 govern procedure under s13
A person may be entitled to be named as an inventor in the application but not in the granted patent [s125(1)]
For an EP(UK) application, rectification can be made under rule 19 EPC, but application may be made under s13(1) once grant is mentioned in EP Bulletin.
Form 7 may be signed by agent
Inventor can give employee's address, and can waive right to be mentioned (rule 11)

The inventor is the person who contributes the "inventive concept". In Henry Brothers v MOD:

  • "One must seek to identify who in substance made the combination. Who was responsible for the inventive concept, namely the combination?"

In IDA v Southampton University (per Jacob LJ):

  • "In the context of entitlement to a patent a mere, non-enabling idea, is probably not enough to give the patent for it to solely the devisor. Those who contribute enough information by way of necessary enablement to make the idea patentable would count as 'actual devisors', having turned what was 'airy-fairy' into that which is practical (see the discussion about the co-inventors in Markem at paras. [36-37]). On the other hand those who contribute no more than essentially unnecessary detail cannot on any view count as 'actual devisors' "

The actual devisor of the invention must be a natural person, and not a machine: BL O/741/19. A statement identifying a natural person as inventor must be provided within the 16 month period under Rule 10(3), otherwise the application will be taken to be withdrawn.

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