I completed my PhD 3 years ago from a university in the UK. Today I was looking for some papers in google scholar. I found a patent in China. The patent was written in Chinese however, all diagrams/figures and equations were exactly same as one of my PhD research papers, which was also part of my PhD thesis.
I translated Chinese text to English I found that work is exactly....same as my PhD thesis and research paper. My research paper was published 1 year before the patent was filed. When I translated the inventors name. I found one of the inventors is my PhD supervisor, who is Chinese but works in a UK university. I couldn't believe it. This patent was filed by a power company in China with my PhD supervisor as one of the inventors.
I am fully aware that the research paper is an open source idea anybody can use it. However, this is the case of copyright infringement. I have full right on text, diagrams, figure and tables in my research paper and my PhD thesis. They have copy-pasted diagrams as well. These diagrams are scientific diagrams nobody can reproduce them without the data.
Now, I am not sure, where should I complain?
- should I first confront my supervisor directly as he is one of the inventors? or
- complain to the university, because if this paper is a patent then only the university has first right over it before a power company in China. I never gave any consent to sell my research work or file a patent of my work without me being the inventor.
- Another issue is that I did research at a UK university. This patent is filed in China. What actions I can take?