The Employed Inventor in the United States treats a problem peculiar to most industrial states, where the independent inventor has to a large extent been replaced by the corporation or institution employee. The employed inventor is hired to use his talents in the interests of that one corporation or institution which provides research facilities for his use either in working on projects of his own choosing and at his own pace or in adhering to specific assignments and schedules imposed by the employer. Some of the main questions in this field are: What rights does the employed inventor have over his work? What are the rewards of his work? What legal and practical problems does his status raise for the employer? These and other questions are discussed in this book, the first general survey of the legal and practical relations between employer and inventor-employee in the United States.
After an introduction by Neumeyer dealing statistically with the extent and disposition of R&D in the United States and the source of funds. Stedman has written a chapter on legal relations between a chapter on legal relations between employer and employee in regard to patents, copyrights, and trade secrets, surveying the common law of invention. The remainder of the book, by Neumeyer, presents a spectrum of 20 detailed case studies treating employee-invention policy in industry (9 companies), government (4 agencies), and universities (7 institutions). There is also a chapter on collective bargaining agreements containing patent clauses with respect to employee inventions as concluded by certain companies, especially in the aircraft industry.
This is an exploding field, one of the biggest in the industrial and business worlds. The Employed Inventor in the United States addresses the growing public interest in R&D policy and administration as well as the large professional population employed in such activity. The authors expect this field to become more important still, as cooperation between U.S. corporations and institutions and their foreign counterparts increase and as competition in engineering innovations for new products and processes grows in national and international markets.