QUESTION: If a manufacturer makes improvement to the patent pending idea, is the company considered a co-inventor to the invention moving forward to update the patent application? If so would the manufacture now be more likely to have an invested interest to help fund the development?
ANSWER: An improvement to an existing idea can be patentable. The inventors of the improvement are not necessarily the inventors of the existing idea. If the manufacturer was not the inventor of the original patent pending idea, an improvement does not make them an inventor of the original idea.