I have written some software for an American startup that has since gone bankrupt. The intellectual property consists of:
- Software code
- Patents that have me listed as their inventor, but that, according to online patent registers, are still assigned to the now defunct company
The company, having had investors, has apparently auctioned off all of its assets, including the intellectual property. I therefore have the following questions:
- How can I find out whom the intellectual property now belongs to? For the patent, is this possible through the patent office?
- If the assignee has not been changed in the patent register, is it possible to reassign the patent to myself, since the company has apparently neglected to do so?
I would also be happy about other general advice for this situation. Can you just call the current owner and ask to buy the IP back? How does one go about that?