Full ownership of your patent is important, especially if your company uses independent contractors, third party vendors, and/or employees. When any of these parties contribute to the conception of the invention, you are legally required to list them as a co-inventor on the patent. By default, each co-inventor has the right to practice the invention or license/sell the patent without permission from your company or the other co-inventors – unless the inventors have fully assigned their patent rights to your company. To avoid messy ownership issues down the road, the best practice is to obtain a full assignment of patent rights in writing from all potential co-inventors at the time of their engagement. If you have a patent assignment question, we can help. Please reach out to us.