Patents Owned by Employees

Many inventions are made by inventors as part of their normal employment and, whilst their names will appear on the patent specifications as the inventors, their employers will usually own the patent. The ownership of inventions as between employers and employees is a matter of national law. In the UK an invention belongs to the employer if: (a) It was made in the course of the normal duties of the employee or in the course of specifically assigned duties falling outside his normal duties or (b) It was made in the course of the duties of the employee and, because of the nature of the employee’s duties and the particular responsibilities arising from them, the employee had a special obligation to further the interests of the employer’s undertaking.

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