Company X is the sole applicant for a patent application that has now entered National Phase. How problematic might it be that Company X has not yet obtained/recorded Deeds of Assignment from either of the two listed Inventors (both of whom are cooperative)?
Inventor A has a pre-existing obligation to assign (via an employment contract), while Inventor B does not. Both Inventors are willing to cooperate fully to help establish the chain of title— let's assume they truly will cooperate and will sign anything required, and neither will die or get caught up in divorce, etc. Assume the Inventors will act faithfully to perfect chain of title under essentially any given circumstances.
My (probably flawed) understanding is that in most major jurisdictions (USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, etc.) it should be relatively straightforward to cure and protect the chain of title by having Deeds of Assignment recorded at any time before "something major" happens e.g. a sale or licensing of patent-pending IP, a challenge to the validity of an application/grant, the granting of a full patent (in which case I gather there is often a grace period in which to cure issues of title).
Basically, I think getting the Deeds of Assignment finalised is an important step, but not especially urgent... How wrong am I? What nasty things could happen?
- Inventors A & B contributed to an Invention.
- Inventor A is obligated through an employment contract to assign their interests to Company X.
- Inventor B has no such obligation.
- Company X has filed a Provisional Patent application, and subsequently proceeded to National Phase. Company X is listed as the sole applicant.
- Company X has not yet received Deeds of Assignment from either Inventor.
- Inventors A & B both intend to provide Deeds of Assignment to Company X and will cooperate fully to help establish clean chain of title.