One of my readers sent me the following message this evening:
Your January 6, 2014 Blog states,”Some of the many patents developed by Dr.Smitherman for Proctor & Gamble….”appears inaccurate. Dr. Smitherman, as of March 6,2012 has been granted only one patent by the United States Office of Patents and Trademark.Should your Blog state that as the accurate number of United States patents granted Dr Smitherman.
I want to respond by first saying, “thank you” to this reader. Thank you Raymond for visiting my blog and reading this post, and thank you for doing further research on Dr. Smitherman.
For clarification let me add that although you may find one registered patent under Dr. Smitherman’s name, as an employee of Procter & Gamble, all work performed for the company would result in all/most patents being registered under the company name, and not the employee name. Unfortunately, the work product is not the property of the developer, but rather the company where he/she works. I guess it can be said that it makes it less complicated if an employee quits or is terminated, then the parties are not involved in a legal battle over ownership of the patented work. He can be acknowledged for creating or helping to create something, but he is not the owner or patent holder of the idea. This understanding is represented as standard language in most contracts involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. The company maintains ownership.
I think that it would be nice if employees could have contracts that allowed for partial ownership (of trademark, copyright, or patent), since it is their hard work that makes the idea worthy of being registered and protected from theft. If you know of examples of scientists, designers, and developers who have employment contracts such as this, please share those details here. Thank you again for reading my blog and sharing the information that you found on Mr. Smitherman. He made some amazing contributions to our country and the world, and we must continue to share his great legacy. It pleased me to know that his work was displayed at the ‘’America I AM: The African American Imprint’’ exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Raymond, I hope that you will subscribe to my blog and continue to engage with me and other readers. Have an amazing day and week!
Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved. Prior copyright 2011-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman