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I have a patent in which I am listed as the last inventor, and there are about 10 inventors in total for this patent.

I want to put this patent on my resume since it's very relevant to the work I am still doing today. However, listing all the inventors seems really unnecessary. I cannot put MyName et al. either, since I am not the first inventor.

How should I approach this? Should I avoid putting the names at all? Should I put the company from which the patent was filed on behalf of me and the others?

  • 2
    FYI 10 inventors is not that long. I am on a list of about 40 on half a dozen patents. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 16 '17 at 23:57
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This is great for a resume, because it is interesting. You are entitled to list it as an accomplishment there is no reason not to. The other inventors are not applying for the job; you are, so there is no reason to include them on your resume. In any position that this matters, they are going to understand that almost all patents have multiple inventors. So leaving the other inventors off of your resume is not going to seem dishonest.

But as with anything on your resume, if you put it on there you need to be prepared to talk about it in depth. Remember that these people are going to be in your field and may be in a position to understand the scope of your contribution. So if you feel that you are the guy that got credit for picking up the lunch orders, that may come out in the interview. But if you are proud of your actual accomplishment then yes, it will be a good thing.

How should I approach this?

Just list it as a single bullet point either under accomplishments, where you include the name of the company that owns the patent, or under the job where you worked when the patent was applied for.

  • Yep, leave off this list of inventors, and just list the accomplishment. – Mister Positive Oct 17 '17 at 12:15
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If you have just the one patent, you shouldn't be listing it on its own at all: you should simply mention it while talking about the accomplishments of the job where you worked on that patent. How you write it depends on exactly how you contributed. If you worked on the solution but not the patent you'd use something like "did X, Y Z to arrive at patented Product P". If you were part of the patent process and that experience is both relevant and substantial you could use "did X and Y to successfully complete patent application for Product P" Your actual contributions to P would then be listed in other bullet points.

If you have multiple patents and they're valuable for your profile and relevant to the job you're applying for, which is not always the case, only then should you be listing them separately under an "Achievements / Awards / Whatever" section. But there's zero reason to list anyone else who worked on that patent unless you want to name-drop someone like Elon Musk. Your CV is a marketing document and one of the rules of marketing is to avoid mentioning the competition. Citation standards do not apply to resumes in the real world.

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How should I approach this?

Well, if what you want is to focus on the patent and its related work (rather than other authors) then one option could be to focus more on the patent and related descriptions rather than who did it.

Do note that even though you are the last author (and if you did wrote it as FirstAuthor et.al), it is implicit that you were involved in its creation, due to the fact that you are including it on your resume.

Maybe you could go with something like: Worked on the Invention and patent of product Foo, while laboring on company Bar Co. - Jan, 2017 - Jan, 2017

During interviews or other follow ups, you can specify more details if necessary (like authors involved, etc.) if you are willing and able, but you should try to keep you resume as lean as possible so it is easier to read and understand.

Also, make sure you have clearance or authorization to include that information on your resume, so you don't conflict with any clauses or legal terms involved with that specific patent and the company and other authors involved.

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As others have said, there's no point listing the other people on the patent. They're not applying for this job. They are irrelevant.

Why can't you say "et al"? Or maybe something slightly wordier, like "along with others" or "part of the team that" or whatever fits with how your resume is worried. It is probably best to say something to indicate that you are not the sole owner of the patent, just to avoid someone thinking you were trying to exaggerate your role. But this can be done with 2 or 3 words. The point of a resume is to sell yourself. Emphasize the positive. Acknowledge limitations so no one can accuse you of lying but don't dwell on them.

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