For a jointly owned U.S. patent (note that this is about shared ownership not co-inventors), 35 U.S.C. 262 grants broad powers to each co-owner by stating that, absent an agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners can license the patent without permission of or having to pay compensation to the other co-owners. Below we refer to this as “absence of veto power” by each co-owner.

* 1. This survey is anonymous. Please provide nevertheless some basic information about yourself:

* 2. In your experience, to what extent does the absence of veto power cause companies that are engaged in research collaboration to refrain from patent co-ownership?

* 3. Are you aware of any real life cases in which one of the patent co-owners unilaterally (without an agreement among all co-owners) licensed the co-owned patent, thereby causing harm to the other co-owners?

* 4. If your answer to the previous question is yes, and the information is public, please write the name of the company(ies) involved below. Further details of the case(s) would also be highly appreciated.

* 5. Do you think firms can completely solve the absence of veto power by privately contracting around it?

* 6. In your experience, how common is it for co-owners to limit each other's licensing rights through private contracts?

* 7. In your opinion, why do contracts sometimes fail to solve the problems caused by the absence of veto power?