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Seeks to Recognize Employee as Co-Inventor on Water Purification Technology Patent
United States Filter Corp. (USFilter), a water and wastewater treatment and services company, announced it has commenced a lawsuit to correct the inventorship of United States Patent No. 5,925,255. The suit was filed in the United States District Court in New Mexico.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the patent erroneously names defendant Debasish Mukhopadhyay as its sole inventor when, in fact, USFilter employee Steven Hawkins also made substantial contributions to the claimed invention and is entitled to recognition as a co-inventor.
The patent, which is entitled, "Method and Apparatus for High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis Operation," relates to a membrane-based water purification technology that Mukhopadhyay refers to by the name of HERO. Among other relief, the complaint seeks a judicial order adding Hawkins as a named inventor of the patent and USFilter as an assignee.
Hawkins has spent much of his 25-year career in the water and wastewater business working for USFilter. He has particular expertise in water purification systems employing reverse osmosis technology. The complaint alleges that Hawkins developed a number of key aspects of the patented invention in connection with work on an experimental project in which Mukhopadhyay also participated.
"As a company, we invest substantial resources in the improvement and development of new technologies," said Frank Firsching, president of USFilter's Water & Wastewater Systems Group. "Through this lawsuit, we hope that Steven receives the recognition he deserves as an inventor and as a result our intellectual property rights are protected."