It is possible to add/remove inventors from an application, or change their details. The deadline for providing the EPO with inventor details is 16 months from priority. Changing any details before this time is straightforward – we can just inform the EPO of any changes.
Adding an inventor
Adding an inventor to an application is very straightforward, assuming that adding the inventor does not affect who owns the patent (i.e. if the new inventor has assigned the application to the current owner).
Removing an inventor
Removing an inventor is more difficult. The EPO requires statements from the inventor to be removed, confirming that they are not an inventor, and from the remaining co – inventors to say that they invented all of the invention in the application.
Correcting inventor details
Correcting an inventor’s name or address sits halfway between the two. The EPO is more and more frequently insisting on proof that there was an initial error. This proof should be straightforward to provide – it can take many forms, including a statement from the inventor or from a paralegal or instructing attorney (indicating that a mistake was made in the initial file). One straightforward solution would be to provide a corresponding US patent with the correct inventor details on, if one exists.