The Supreme Court has reaffirmed the "basic principle" of patent law that patent rights vest initially in the inventor and not the inventor's employer. In Bd. Of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior Univ. v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., No. 09-1159 (2011), the court ruled, 7–2, that the Bayh-Dole Act, which governs ownership of inventions made with federal funds, did not change that principle. That is, the Act does not automatically vest title to federally funded inventions in the contractors who receive government funds.
But the case might be more significant for the shadow it casts on Federal Circuit law governing assignment provisions in contracts.
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