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How is ownership over an invention by many employees decided?

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How Ownership Is Decided Over an Invention

Words by Todd Bateman

Before the 21st century Inventors used their own money, technology, and equipment to produce most inventions, for example during Thomas Edison's time. In today's world, however, with the expansion of science and technology, as well as rapid economic and social development, an innovation frequently necessitates the contribution of large amounts of physical and technological resources, as well as the collaboration of a large number of individuals.

The majority of innovation programmes are funded by businesses, research institutes, universities, and governments, with their employees performing the actual job. In this instance, it's critical to figure out who owns the inventions that result.

Patent laws in some countries give employers direct ownership of an invention created by their employees. Patent rules in several other nations offer employees patent rights, but they also allow those rights to be assigned, or given to someone else through an agreement or contract.

In fact, despite various legislative differences between countries, the consequence is largely the same: the employer is ultimately held responsible for the results of technical innovation.

To balance the interests of the two parties, the employer must pay the inventor a reasonable reward or compensation after acquiring the patent rights, and the person who actually creates the invention has the right to be listed as the inventor in patent documents even if they do not own the invention.

For more IP answers, review our FAQ section here.
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Disclaimer: This FAQ should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own solicitor on any specific legal questions you may have.
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