IN RE: VERHOEF, 17-1976, decided May 3, 2018

Application Serial No. 13/328,201, directed to a dog mobility device.

During development of the dog mobility device, VerHoef asked the Vet if there was a way to connect a harness to the dogs toes, and the Vet suggested a figure “8” strap (page 3).  An earlier application claiming the figure “8” strap was filed listing VerHoef and the Vet as inventors (pages 3-4).  This earlier application was abandoned due to a falling out between the inventors (page 4).  This application on appeal was then filed with VerHoef as the sole inventor (pages 2 and 4).  Maintaining intellectual domination and control of the work does not make someone a sole inventor (page 6).  Conception of claimed ideas is the touchstone of inventorship, so this is a joint invention (pages 7-8).  As a result, the rejection of the claims was appropriate (page 10).

Hindsight:  Avoid a fallout between inventors.  If there is a fallout, it may be best to file the “sole” inventor application without claiming the contribution from others, if possible.