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Home Q&A Forum Can a JV hold patents?

Intellectual Property

Joint Agreement

California

Asked on Mar 21, 2023

Can a JV hold patents?

I am currently exploring the possibility of forming a joint venture (JV) with another company in my industry. As part of our business plan, we are considering the development of new products and technologies that may be patentable. However, I am unsure if a JV has the legal capacity to hold patents and protect our intellectual property rights. Therefore, I would like to seek advice from a lawyer on this matter.

1 Attorney answer

Answer

Intellectual Property

California

Answered 454 days ago

Jane D.

ContractsCounsel verified

Business Lawyer
Licensed in California
Free Consultation

As a legal entity, a joint venture (JV) can own a patent. Given the temporary nature of JVs and the fact that there will be multiple owners of any patents, there is a complex mix of intellectual property (IP) ownership rights, dispute resolution, and enforcement issues that need to be agreed upon in order to properly protect everyone's intellectual property rights. Consideration will need to be given to what IP ownership and rights will look like during and after the JV and it may be easier to have both companies listed as the patent authors for inventions from the outset (versus naming the JV as the author). A joint IP agreement is the best solution to outline the rights of each party, the process for developing patentable technologies sufficient to be a patent author, filing and prosecuting patents, and future licensing and exploitation of the patent.

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