Employee invention law

Under the German Law on Employees’ Inventions companies based in Germany may assign to themselves any inventions made by their employees and decide on their further use (e.g. completing the patent application procedure).  In return, the company is obliged to pay compensation to the employee depending on how the invention is exploited.

Both the employer’s and the employee’s rights and obligations are explicitly regulated in the Law on Employees’ Inventions.  Since there are a number of formal requirements and time limits that may have undesirable legal consequences in the case of non-observance, standardised processes are advisable to ensure law-compliant management of inventions in your company.  We develop appropriate processes tailor-made to your company and provide legal advice in all matters concerning employee invention law.  This may include, for example, consultation on fixing reasonable compensation for the employee.  If a legal dispute arises, we also represent you in German courts or before the Arbitration Board under the Law on Employees’ Inventions of the German Patent and Trade Mark Law.

Our experience in this field has been incorporated in the Kommentar zum Gesetz über Arbeitnehmererfindungen (Commentary on the German Law on Employees’ Inventions), written by our attorneys Mr Reitzle, Ms Butenschön and Mr Bergmann (currently in the third edition, Verlag C. H. Beck, Munich, ISBN 978-3-406-52346-5).

Further information can be found, for example, at:

Arbitration Board under the Law on Employees' Inventions at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office