Marathon Owns Ex-Worker's Patents, Fed. Circ. Rules

Law360, New York (July 10, 2012, 3:50 PM EDT) -- Marathon Oil Co. owns the rights to two patents for gas well machines devised by a former employee, the Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday, finding that employees can only retain the rights to things they actually invented before joining a company and not "vague ideas."

The ruling affirmed a lower court's decision that Yale Preston assigned the rights to his inventions pursuant to his employment agreement, which required him to assign Marathon any inventions he made or conceived during his employment.

While Preston claimed that the agreement...
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