Patent Ownership in Germany: Employers v Employees


In this white paper:

Introduction; 1. Inventorship; 2. Right to the Invention; 3. Co-Ownership; 4. Entitlement To The Invention; 4.1. Legal Fiction in Favour of the Applicant; 4.2. Legal Function of The Register; 5. Act on Employees' Inventions; 5.1. Scope of Application of the Arbeg; 5.1.1. Material Scope of Application; 5.1.2. Application to Individuals; 5.1.3. Territorial Application; 5.2. Service Inventions and Free Inventions; 5.2.1. Reporting Obligations; Service Inventions; Free Inventions; 5.2.2. Acquiring Service Inventions; 5.2.3 Protecting Service Inventions; National Filing; International Filing; Keeping the Service Invention as a Trade Secret; 5.2.4. Employee’s Compensation; Individual Agreements on the Employee’s Compensation; Calculation Methods; Contribution Factor (Directive N° 30); License Analogy; Other Methods: Benefit to the Employer And Estimation Of The Invention’s Value; and Example.

- Excerpt from Introduction -

The requirements of Germany’s Act on Employees’ Inventions (ArbEG), which governs how employees’ inventions are assigned to their employers, may be unknown by international companies with employees in Germany. An inventor who is acting for a German affiliate, or spends the majority of their working time on German territory, may be covered by German law. It is crucial for international entities active in the German market, in particular through affiliates, to know and apply these rules.

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