Query: Now that patent applications are being filed by “applicants” rather than the inventors themselves, will those applicants (i.e., corporate owners) now be bound by the duty of disclosure?
37 C.F.R. 1.56:
(a) . . . Each individual associated with the filing and prosecution of a patent application has a duty of candor and good faith in dealing with the Office, which includes a duty to disclose to the Office all information known to that individual to be material to patentability as defined in this section. . . .
(c) Individuals associated with the filing or prosecution of a patent application within the meaning of this section are:
(1) Each inventor named in the application;
(2) Each attorney or agent who prepares or prosecutes the application; and
(3) Every other person who is substantively involved in the preparation or prosecution of the application and who is associated with the inventor, the applicant, an assignee, or anyone to whom there is an obligation to assign the application.
If we are strictly following the rule, the basic question is whether a corporate owner counts as a “person” under (c)(3).