The Majority Opinion
"Although much in intellectual property law has changed in the 220 years since the first Patent Act, the basic idea that inventors have the right to patent their inventions has not. Under the law in its current form, "[w]hoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter . . . may obtain a patent therefor."
"take[s] precedence over any other Act which would require a disposition of rights in subject intentions . . . that is inconsistent with the [Act]."
"Contractors generally institute polices to obtain assignments from their employees. Agencies that grant funds to federal contractors typically expect those contractors to obtain assignments. So it is with NIH, the agency that granted the federal funds at issue in this case. In guidance documents made available toe contractors, NIH has made clear that "[b]y law, an inventor has initial ownership of an invention" and that contractors should therefore "have in place employee agreements requiring an inventor to 'assign' or give ownership of an invention to the organization upon acceptance of Federal funds."
"without violence to the basic principle of patent law that inventors won their inventions"
"[o]nce the invention is made and [the] application for [a] patent is filed. . . .legal title to the rights accruing thereunder would be in the assignee . . , and the assignor-inventor would have nothing remaining to assign."