The Practice Group IP, Media and Technology advises both employers and employee inventors on issues arising from the German Employee Inventor Act. The Act relates to inventions eligible for patent or utility model protection made in connection with the performance of services for which the employee inventor is entitled to a compensation if the employer claims the use of the invention. The law also concerns technical suggestions for improvements, or inventions which will not be registered because they related to business secrets.
Our services are often retained in respect of an employee’s obligation to disclose an invention (form and content), the violation of which may result in claims for damages of the employer against the employee. Furthermore, we advise on content and deadlines regarding the employer’s claim or release of an invention, including the employer’s corresponding duty to apply for industrial property protection. In this respect, the Law for Simplification and Modernization of the Patent Act, which entered into force on October 1, 2009, has entailed some changes. We also advise in connection with the negotiation and enforcement of remuneration claims under the guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Labor.