As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings given:
(1) "Contract" or "contract for invention development services" means a contract by which an invention developer undertakes invention development services for a customer for a stated payment or consideration, whether or not the payment or consideration has yet been made.
(2) "Customer" means any natural person who is solicited by, inquires about, seeks the services of, or enters into a contract with an invention developer for invention development services.
(3) "Invention development services" means any act done by or for an invention developer for the procurement or attempted procurement by the invention developer of a licensee or buyer of an intellectual property right in an invention. The term includes the evaluation, perfecting, marketing, brokering, or promoting of an invention, a patent search, and preparation or prosecution of a patent application by a person not registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
(4) "Invention" means any discovery, process, machine, design, formulation, composition of matter, product, concept, or idea, or any combination of these.
(5) "Invention developer" is an individual, firm, partnership, or corporation, or an agent, employee, officer, partner, or independent contractor of one of those entities, that offers to perform or performs invention development services for a customer and that is not:
a. A department or agency of the federal, State, or local government;
b. A charitable, scientific, educational, religious, or other organization qualified under G.S. 105-130.9 or described in Section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;
c. A person registered before the United States Patent and Trademark Office acting solely within the scope of that person's professional license;
d. A person, firm, corporation, association, or other entity that does not charge a fee, including reimbursement for expenditures made or costs incurred by the entity, for invention development services other than payment made from a portion of the income received by a customer by virtue of the acts performed by the entity; or
e. An attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina acting solely within the scope of that person's professional license.
(6) "Business day" means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. (1989, c. 746, s. 1; c. 770, s. 62.1(1), (2); 1991, c. 235, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014