Federal Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Case Involving Question of Joint Inventorship Under Section 102(f)
In a prior abandoned patent application, VerHoef listed himself as joint inventor of the dog mobility device with Dr. Lamb, the veterinarian making the suggestion; this joint venture failed and then each party tried to file competing patent applications. This was all done at a time when VerHoef was not well acquainted with patent law according to Thomas Loop, patent attorney at Loop IP Law representing VerHoef in the case. “All inventors take limitations and elements from others, that’s the essence of inventions,” Loop argued to the Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Haldane Robert Mayer and Alan Lourie. “[VerHoef] had the entire reduction to practice of the invention… she blurted out an idea, and he adopted it. That’s what happened here.” Although VerHoef agreed that Dr. Lamb did provide the suggestion, Loop argued that this suggestion did not elevate the veterinarian to the level of inventor.