Defintion of Patent Assignment, Assignor, Assignee

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"Assignment" has two related meanings in the world of inventing and patenting. 

For trademarks, an assignments is a transfer of ownership of a trademark application or trademark registration from one entity to another.

For patents, an assignment involves the sale and transfer of ownership of a patent by the assignor to the assignee.

The assignee is the entity that is the recipient of a transfer of a patent application, patent, trademark application or trademark registration from its owner on record (assignor).

The assignor is the owner on record of a patent application, patent, trademark application or trademark registration who is transferring (assigning) ownership to another entity (assignee).

You can assign the ownership of a patent application or patent. For all U.S. patents, assignments are recorded with the USPTO Assignment Services Division to keep clear the title to pending patent applications and patents. Assignments can be searched on the USPTO website.

Assignments aren't always a voluntary transaction. For instance, an employee invention may be mandatorily assigned by an employee to the employer because of the contract that the employee has signed. There are a number of laws and regulations surrounding patent assignments.

In contrast to patent licensing, an assignment is an irrevocable and permanent transfer of ownership.

Examples: "An assignment may be appropriate, however where the patent owner prefers to receive a lump sum price, at the time of the assignment, rather than collecting royalties."