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Employee invention law in Germany

If an employee made an invention in Germany, the law regulates the transfer of design from the employee to his employer.

If the employee has made an invention, he must report it to the employer immediately. The rights of the design automatically pass to the employer unless they release the device to the employee within four months of the notification.

Balance of interests between inventor and employer

There is a balance of interests between the employed inventor and his employer. If the invention has passed to the employer, the employer must register the design for a patent or utility model. An exception is an agreement between the employer and employee to treat the invention as a trade secret. In both cases, the law on employee inventions regulates the payment of the employer’s inventor’s compensation to the employee.

The calculation of the compensation, as well as errors in the transfer of the rights, can lead to disputes. It is, therefore, important for employers that these processes are appropriately structured and documented in the company. We are happy to assist you in designing these processes so that there are no disputes between employees and employers. Contact us for an initial non-binding consultation.

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