I started working as a part time researcher in a company during my master degree as part of my graduate studies. I published a paper 2.5-3 years ago based on the data and my work at school. Last month, I noticed that a competing company patented the idea that was presented in my paper in 2019 with minor twisting.
Can anyone patent my idea from my published research paper? I integrated a new idea an AI system 3 years ago. When I discussed this with the company that I work with, they said that:
Firstly they claim that they are surprised that it is patentable. They said even we did the work, they might get the patent on that particular aspect because we did not publish anything or we did not apply so whoever applies first gets the patent. We do not know if it is stolen or came up with it independently. We will talk about it in the next little while. We need to spend some time on, we do not see any urgency for taking action. We can not supply information to the patent examiner that will invalidate their patent. We need to be careful of how we do that because we can go through a bunch of work and provide them with some information. If the patent examiner still gives them a patent, we have done some work to makes them strengthen their position. We want to be careful of how we approach it.
I am not happy about this and got very disappointed on how they did not protect my work and my research. Do you think does it worth to do further research in this company? Or should I focus my academic aspects of work outside of this company? For example asking for help from my university? I just graduated 5 months ago and working at the same place. My supervisor also claims that he did not know it would be a patent. He says that he would like to follow company's approach.
But my view is that the company is not taking the right action as they only care about the sale and profits rather than research. Please advise! What is the best action for me?
I am not looking for a legal advice, what I would like to know" if I should keep doing research here or I move on?"