World Intellectual Property Organization

An Employee has Invented a New Product or Process. Who Will own the Rights to the Patent?

In most countries, if an employee has developed an invention in execution of his employment contract, i.e., usually during his working time within the enterprise, the invention (and the related patent rights) will belong to the enterprise. To avoid confusion and possible disputes, employers often specify issues of IP ownership in employment contracts. Depending on the merits of the case, the employee may, however, have a right to equitable remuneration in accordance with legislative provisions or his employment contract.

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