What is assignment?
Within the context of patent law, an assignment is when the rightful owner of a patent, often the inventor of the invention protected by the patent, transfers all of his rights in the invention to another person. That other person (called the “assignee” in legalese) then has all of the legal rights granted by owning a patent, meaning he can prevent others from making, selling and using the invention. An assignment is done by having the patent holder prepare a formal assignment which is then filed with the PTO. The formal paperwork for the patent will then be altered to indicate that the patent has been assigned to a new person or entity.