Employee Inventors Rights
We provide sound and practical advice on all topics relating to inventor’s rights, such as invention disclosure, claiming of rights, domestic and international applications, abandonment of IP rights and inventor remuneration. We support you in defining and simplifying your administrative processes.
Inventor's rights – too important to be overlooked
In Germany, employee inventor’s rights are governed by the Employee Inventions Act (Arbeitnehmererfindergesetz, ArbnErfG) and often appears complex, time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, small and medium-sized companies are sometimes tempted to “secure” inventions made by their employees by simply filing and prosecuting patent applications without adequate coverage of the rights and claims of the inventors.
At the latest when exploiting an IP right, for example in infringement disputes, or when selling an IP right, ill-defined legal relationships and unfulfilled obligations under the German Employee Inventions Act can have fatal consequences. Thus, hard-won and valuable IP rights can ultimately turn out to be worthless for a company, or may even result in additional financial damage.
Inventor remuneration - too complex?
According to the German Employee Inventions Act (ArbnErfG), employee inventors are entitled to appropriate remuneration. The Guidelines for the Remuneration of Employees’ Inventions in Private Employment can be used to calculate the remuneration. The administrative burden for calculating and paying the remuneration can often seem disproportionately high compared to the benefits for inventors. We can find a viable solution for you.
Inventor remuneration according to a flat-rate remuneration system
In principle, the remuneration has to be appropriate for each invention that can be protected and should be determined individually on a regular basis according to license analogy or other recognized methods in accordance with the Guidelines for the Remuneration of Employees’ Inventions in Private Employment.
A flat-rate model reduces the associated administrative burden and creates a financial incentive for inventors. Therein, fixed remuneration amounts are paid out at key events on the way from the invention to the patent or utility model. These events include, for example, the filing of a first or subsequent application and the granting of a patent, as well as the commencement of use of the invention. Only in the case of extensive use of the invention are additional remuneration amounts calculated individually in flat-rate remuneration systems.
What can we do for you?
We have many years of extensive experience in supporting large, medium and small companies in all matters relating to inventor’s rights.
We provide you with a guideline for an invention disclosure, which covers all relevant queries in connection with the invention.
We analyze the rights to an invention and prepare simple assignment templates for you, which can also be filed with the patent offices as proof of a transfer of rights.
Under the Employee Inventions Act (ArbnErfG), the employee inventor retains rights to the invention even after the employer claims the invention. This includes the right to acquire IP rights in foreign countries in which the employer does not intend to acquire IP rights (§ 14 ArbnErfG) or the right to transfer the IP rights if the employer wants to abandon the IP right (§ 16 ArbnErfG). The necessary steps for this on the part of the employer entail a high administrative burden. This administrative burden can be significantly reduced by purchasing such rights at an early stage as part of so-called incentive systems. Our expertise in this field makes us a competent partner for the implementation of suitable processes and forms in your company.
We work together with you to develop a remuneration model tailored to your needs with a method for calculating the amount of remuneration that is practicable for you. We support you in determining the use of your inventions. We take over all steps of remuneration calculation for you and create remuneration agreements with your employees.
We support you in conflicts with your employee inventor and try to find an amicable solution. We represent you before the Arbitration Board under the Employee Inventions Act.