You work with your business partner to come up with an invention. It’s going to be the basis for your new company. You think there is a huge market for it and no one else makes anything like it.
As such, you decide that you absolutely want to get a patent on the idea. You know that this is generally done by the inventor alone. They are the only one who can legally apply. If someone else does it, it could be fraud or an attempt to steal the invention.
But you did not create it alone. You both worked closely together. What do you need to do?
Patent law is clear on this point: You both need to apply together. You can list yourselves as joint inventors. You both need the right to create and market this product.
Why can’t one of you simply apply for the patent alone? Again, the issue is the theft of an idea. This intellectual property belongs to both of you. It would be unfair to one inventor if the other patented the idea and then profited off of it alone.
You may trust your business partner, but a lot of money is on the line. People will sometimes do things you’d never expect in the name of money. The law is set up to protect your rights and theirs at the same time.
The steps you take at this point in your business relationship are very important for your future and the company’s future. Make sure you know exactly what you will need to do and how to get started.