Who is the first owner of each of these intellectual property rights and is this different for rights created in the course of employment or under a commission?

Intellectual Property (3rd edition)

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Patents:

The person whose name is recorded in the Register of Patents as the grantee of a patent.

The right to a patent for an invention which is made in the performance of a contract of employment or in the execution of a commissioned work is deemed to accrue to the employer or the person who commissioned the work, with exceptions.

Utility Innovation:

The person who succeeds in the application for a certificate for a Utility Innovation.

The right to a certificate for a utility innovation which is made in the performance of a contract of employment or in the execution of a commissioned work is deemed to accrue to the employer or the person who commissioned the work, with exceptions.

Trademark:

The first user of the trade mark in the course of trade is the owner of a trade mark.

Geographical indication:

Jointly to the producers carrying on their activity in the geographical area specified in the Register.

Copyright:

The presumption is that copyright will vest initially in the author of the work.

Copyright is deemed to be transferred to the person who commissioned the work or the author’s employer when a work is commissioned by a person under a contract of service or apprenticeship or created in the course of the author’s employment subject to any agreement between the parties excluding or limiting such transfer.

Industrial design:

The person registered as the owner in the Register of Industrial Designs.

Where an industrial design is created in pursuance of a commission for money or money’s worth or is created by an employee in the course of his employment, the person commissioning the industrial design or the employer is the original owner of the industrial design, however, this is subject to any agreement to the contrary between the parties.

Norway Small Flag Norway

The first owner of a patent, a design registration, a copyright and a database right is the inventor/designer/originator, respectively. The first owner of a trademark is the holder of the trademark application. The first owner of technical aids, products, hallmarks, catalogues, means for advertising etc. according to the Marketing Act is the relevant company.

If an invention is created in the course of a research or inventive based employment, the first owner of the patent rights is the employer. In such cases, the employee is obliged to inform the employer of the invention. The employer shall then notify the employee in writing in order to obtain the rights to the invention. For inventions made by employees in other positions, the employer enjoys certain exploitation and priority rights.

The first owner of the copyright to a computer programme created in the course of employment is the employer. The droit moral lies with the employee.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

  1. Patent rights – the inventor, or a person who was entitled to the property in the invention by virtue of any law or an agreement entered into before the invention was made. Inventions created in the course of employment generally belong to the employer, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. There is no special treatment for inventions made under commission.
  2. Confidential information – generally, the originator of the confidential information.
  3. Industrial design rights – the designer. Designs created in the course of employment generally belong to the employer, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. In case of designs generated by computer such that there is no human designer, the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the design are made is deemed to be the designer.
  4. Trade mark rights – for registered trade marks, prima facie, the registrant; for unregistered trade marks, the first user in Singapore.
  5. Geographical indications – the entitlement to file for registration of a GI is given to a producer of the relevant goods in the geographical area specified, an association of such producers, or a competent authority having responsibility for the relevant GI.
  6. Copyright – generally, for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, the author.
  7. Layout designs of integrated circuits – the creator of the layout design. Layout designs created in pursuance of a commission are owned by the commissioner, and those created in the course of employment are owned by the employer.
  8. Plant varieties protection – an application for the grant of protection for a plant variety must be made by the person who bred, or discovered and developed, that variety. Plant varieties bred, or discovered and developed, in the course of employment belong to the employer.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

Inventions

IP right

First owner?

Different for rights created in the course of employment or under a commission?

Patents

Inventor

According to article 14 of the Law of Industrial Property, the provisions of the Mexican Labour Law (article 163), shall be applied when it comes to inventions made by a person subject to an employment relationship.

 

Therefore, under the scope of article 163 of the Mexican Labour Law, the ownership of a given invention is subject to the following rules: (i) in any case, the inventor shall be identified as the author of the relevant invention; (ii) if the services provided by the employee are related to research activities, ownership on the invention and the right to exploitation of the same shall be held by the employer; and (iii) if nothing is agreed between the parties, the ownership of the invention will be held by the inventor, but the employer shall have a preferential right –in equal circumstances- to obtain the ownership as well as the exclusive right to use the invention.

Utility models

Inventor

Industrial designs

Inventor

Integrated circuits

Inventor

 

Brands

IP right

First owner?

Different for rights created in the course of employment or under a commission?

Trademarks

Applicant

If the trademark / trade name / slogan / trade dress was created during the course of employment or under commission, then the owner will be the employer.

Trade names

Applicant

Slogans

Applicant

Appellations of Origin

The Mexican Government

N/A

Geographical Indications

The Mexican Government

N/A

 

Copyright and other rights

IP right

First owner?

Different for rights created in the course of employment or under a commission?

Copyright

Author

Article 84 of the Federal Copyright Law provides that in case of a work made in the course of an employment relationship (under a written individual labour contract), the rules that should be applied concerning the ownership of rights are as follows:

 

a)      If there is an intellectual property clause, the same should be complied with.

 

Some individual contracts include an intellectual property clause, in which the employer states that the copyright of works created by employees will belong in their entirety to the employer.

 

b)      If there is no clause or agreement about the ownership of a copyright, the Copyright Law provides that the rights will be owned by both the employer and the employee (50% each).

 

Furthermore, only the employer is entitled to disclose the work without the need of employee’s authorization.

 

c)      If there is no written contract, rights will belong to the employee.

 

On the other hand, when it comes to commissions, unless agreed otherwise, the person or legal entity commissioning a party to create a given work shall bear the ownership of the patrimonial rights. If there is not a written contract, the ownership of rights will belong to the employee.

Related rights: artist, performers and executors

Artist, performers and executors

No, they are not different.

Related rights: book publishers

Book publishers

No, they are not different.

Related rights: phonogram producers

Phonogram producers

No, they are not different.

Related rights: video producers

Video producers

No, they are not different.

Related rights: broadcasting organizations

Broadcasting organizations

No, they are not different.

Reservation of rights

Applicant

No, they are not different.

Plant varieties

Applicant

No, they are not different.

 

 

China Small Flag China

Patents, semiconductor topography and plant varieties: the entities or individuals who made the invention-creation, unless otherwise agreed upon in advance. For service invention-creation, the first owner is the employer unless otherwise agreed upon in advance.

Trademarks: trademark applicant.

Copyright: citizen who has created the work, legal entity or another organization that supervises the completion of the work.

Ecuador Small Flag Ecuador

The owner of the right is who requests it either natural or legal person. If the right to protection is claimed, the owner is the person who requested the first registration, unless the latter has transferred his rights to a third party.

In the case of copyright created during employment or under commission, ownership will correspond to the authors. However, the establishment will have a free, non-transferable and non-exclusive license for non-commercial use of the work for academic purposes.

In the case of inventions made in the course of research or academic activities in higher education institutions or public research institutes, the ownership and distribution of benefits derived from the exploitation of the patent shall be negotiated between them and the inventors involved, such as: professors, researchers or students.

In the case of a patent developed in compliance with a contract, the ownership belongs to the principal or the employer, unless stipulated otherwise.

South Africa Small Flag South Africa

Patent – inventor is first owner unless assigned in writing or created in the course and scope of employment or an employee of a parastatal organisation designated by law.

Design – the applicant is the first owner but should have assignment of rights from the designer/author.

Copyright – the author/creator is the first owner, but in the case of software it is the person responsible for organising and managing the writing of the software. In the case of publications it is the owner of the publication. In all cases the owner retains the moral right in their works unless explicitly assigned in writing. Copyright as such must be assigned in writing if ownership is to be transferred.

Trade mark – the applicant

Plant Breeders right – the breeder or an applicant who has acquired right from the breeder, or jointly.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

As far as patents are concerned, the right to the patent belongs to the inventor or to his/ her lawful heirs. However, in the event that an invention is discovered pursuant to the execution of a commission or during the course of one’s employment, the invention belongs to the person commissioning the work or the employer, unless there are contractual arrangements to the contrary. The employee in such case has a right to a just remuneration, taking into account his/ her wage, the economic value of the invention and the reaping of any benefit from it by the employer.

The owner of a copyright is the author of the copyrighted work, unless, such work comes about as a result of a commission or in the course of one’s employment, in which case it is the person who commissions the work or the employer, who is entitled to copyright over the work.

A trade mark is owned by the applicant of the mark. In certain cases where one may prove, to the satisfaction of the Trade Marks Registrar or a competent court of law, concurrent honest use of a mark by more than one person, it may be permitted for a mark which is identical or similar to another mark to be registered in the name of more than one rightholder, in relation to identical or similar goods.

In respect of domain names, the University of Cyprus is the Administrator of domain names who has the right to domain names ending in ‘.cy’ (Level B and C categories). Any applicant for a domain name is a licensee of the domain name in question who enters into a license agreement with the Administrator.

Japan Small Flag Japan

Patents/utility models/designs: the inventor/creator (or assignee). When any agreement, employment regulation or any other stipulation prescribes in advance that the right to obtain a patent for any employee invention vests in the employer, the employer becomes the first owner of the right to obtain a patent. The same applies to utility models and designs.

Trademarks: no limitations (applicant).

Copyrights: the person who created the work. In respect of a work that is made by an employee in the course of his/her duties on the initiative of the employer and that is made public under the name of the employer, the employer is regarded as the author and becomes the first owner of the copyright unless otherwise stipulated in any agreement, employment regulation or the like.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

As a general rule and provided the conditions for protection are fulfilled, the first owner is the creator or inventor.

There is no "work for hire" concept for copyrights under the CopA. Copyrights vest with the employee who has created the work, but are transferred to the employer to the extent this is covered by the specific purpose of the employment agreement. For computer programs created by an employee under an employment contract as part of his/her duties or contractual obligations, even though the ownership vests with the employee, the employer alone is entitled to exercise the exclusive rights of use. According to the Swiss Code of Obligations, inventions and designs produced by the employee in the course of his/her work for the employer and in performance of his/her contractual obligations belong to the employer. The parties can however provide otherwise in writing. The employer has also a legal right to reserve in writing its rights to acquire inventions and designs produced by the employee in the course of his/her work for the employer but not in relation to the performance of his/her contractual obligations. In such case, the employer must pay the employee an appropriate remuneration.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

In general, the first owner of an intellectual property right is the inventor, designer or author who created the work.

If the work was created by an employee in the course of the employee's employment, the employer is usually the first owner of the right, unless the work was created outside of the normal duties of the employee's employment (in which case the employee remains the owner).

If a work is created under a commission, the first owner is the inventor, designer or author, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

The first owner of a registered trade mark is the named applicant.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Brazil follows the first-to-file regime. That is, the first owner of the intellectual property right is generally the first person to request its protection before the BPTO.

The Brazilian IP Law states that an inventor has the right to obtain patent protection, and further clarifies that the applicant is presumed to be legitimately entitled to obtain the patent, also applicable for industrial designs.

Regarding trademarks, the general rule is that the first owner is the applicant that firstly applied for the protection at the BPTO.

As a member of the Paris Convention, the Brazilian IP law also states that applicants can claim for the priority date of a foreign prior IP right filed in a Unionist country. As per the period of time in which the priority right can be evoked, for patents is 12 months from the date of application, for industrial designs and trademarks the deadline is 6 months from the filing date.

Regarding patent applications, article 17 of the Brazilian IP Law states that an application for an invention or utility model patent originally filed in Brazil, without claiming priority and not yet published, shall assure the right of priority for the subsequent application on the same subject matter filed in Brazil by the same applicant or by successors, within a period of 1 year.

As for IP developed in the course of employment or under a commission, it depends on the IP in question:

a) Inventions:

The invention and the utility model belong exclusively to the employer when they result from an employment contract being performed in Brazil and that has research or the inventive step as its object, or if such results from the nature of the services for which the employee was hired. On the other hand, the invention or the utility model developed by an employee shall belong exclusively to him, provided that it is unrelated to the employment contract and does not result from the use of resources, means, data, materials, facilities or equipment of the employer. A third option is when the invention results from the personal contribution of the employee and resources, data, means, materials, facilities or equipment of the employer, in the absence of express contract provision to the contrary – in that case, the property of the invention patent or utility model patent shall be common, in equal parts.

b) Trademarks: the first applicant to file the trademark in the BPTO will be considered the first owner, except for good faith users who, from the priority or filing date, have been using an identical or similar mark in Brazil for at least 6 (six) months to distinguish or certify an identical, similar or alike product or service, who shall have the right of preference for the registration.

c) Other creations:

  • Copyright: First owner is the author of the work, there is no express provisions for authorship during employment. The Copyright law states, on the other hand, that joint-authorship is possible, when the work is created jointly by two or more authors, in which case both will be considered owners.
  • Furthermore, there is the possibility of collective work. In that case, the economic rights in the collective work as a whole shall belong to the organizer, but Individual contributions to collective works shall benefit from protection, provided that any of the contributors may invoke his moral rights to prohibit the mention or announcement of his name in connection with the collective work without prejudice to his right to the remuneration specified by contract.
  • Software rights: First owner is the author of the work. Unless covenanted otherwise, the employer, service contracting party or public body shall have full title over the rights associated to the software program, developed and elaborated throughout the duration of an agreement or by-law obligation, expressly intended for research and development, or in which the employee’s, service contractor’s or server’s activities are provided, or yet, which arise from the nature of the duties pertaining to said ties. The employee, service contractor or server shall have full title over the rights pertaining to a software program generated with no connection to the employment contract, service agreement or by-law obligation, and without the use of resources, technological information, trade and business secrets, materials, facilities or equipment of the employer, the company or entity with which the employer has entered into a service agreement or other similar agreements, or the service contracting party or public body.
  • Industrial Designs: industrial design rights are also guaranteed by the first-to-file regime, provided that the Brazilian IP Law also presumes that the creator of the industrial design is the one applying for such IP right. As for Industrial Designs developed in the course of employment, the provisions applied for patents are applicable to Design rights.
  • Integrated Circuit Topography: its creator shall be entitled to protect such IP right, provided that, as the Law states, the applicant is presumed to be its creator:
    • Unless otherwise stipulated, the rights relating to an integrated circuit topography developed while an employment, service provision or public servant contract is in force, in which the creative activity results from the nature of the duties related to those positions or if there were use of the resources, technological information, industrial or trade secrets, materials, premises or equipment of the employer, service commissioner or employing State entity,, shall be deemed to belong to the employer, service commissioner or employing State entity.
    • Rights relating to an integrated circuit topography developed without a link to an employment or service provision contract and without the use of resources, technological information, industrial or trade secrets, materials, premises or equipment of the employer, service commissioner or entity creating the public servant post, shall belong exclusively to the employee, service provider or public servant.
  • Plant Varieties: Also applying the first-to-file regime, the natural or legal person who has bred a plant variety or an essentially derived plant variety in the country shall be entitled to protection of his property rights.
  • The rights in new plant varieties and in essentially derived plant varieties developed or bred by an employee or service provider during the period of validity of the employment or service contract or in the course of another labor activity, being the result of the performance of duties or fulfilment of a contract relating to research work in Brazil, shall belong exclusively to the employer or client, but it shall be mandatory to include in the application and in the protection certificate.

    Unless expressly provided otherwise, the new plant varieties and also essentially derived plant varieties bred by the employee or provider of services or other labor activity that are not covered on those provisions but are the result of a personal contribution and the use of resources, data, means, materials, installations or equipment belonging to the employer or client, shall belong to both parties.

  • Confidential know-how and trade secrets: Trade secrets are initially owned by the entity that holds the information and takes reasonable steps to maintain its secrecy.

Israel Small Flag Israel

The creator or inventor is the first owner. Ownership may be transferred by agreement before or after creation.

Patents: An invention conceived by an employee during and in consequence of employment is owned by the employer unless agreed otherwise.

Trademarks: Owner is the entity and/or individual in the name of which the trademark is applied or registered. Trademark rights may also be acquired through use in which case the owner is the entity and/or individual that uses the mark.

Designs: First owner is the designer; first owner of a design by an employee for the purpose of carrying out his duties or using the employer's resources is the employer, unless otherwise agreed; under a commission the first owner of a custom-made design is the commissioner, unless otherwise agreed.

Copyrights: The author of a written work is the first owner of the copyrights. The producer of a sound recording is the first owner. The employer is the first owner of copyrights in a work made by an employee in the course of his service and during the period of his service, unless otherwise agreed. Under a commission, the first owner of the copyrights is the author, unless otherwise agreed. If the work is a portrait or photograph of a family event or other private event, made pursuant to a commission, the first owner of the copyright is the commissioning party.

Germany Small Flag Germany

(a) Patents/Utility models

The first owner is the inventor. However, German law distinguishes between the "right to the invention", the "right to the patent" and the "right conferred by the patent". The right to the patent (being a monetary, proprietary right) may differ from the right to the invention and may be assigned to a third party. The inventor has to be named on the application, but the applicant can be a different party.

For employee inventors, the Act on employee inventions applies and provides for an assumption that the employer has claimed the invention if the employer has not released the invention within four months following its notification by the employee.

(b) Confidential information

Certain confidential information – referred to as trade secrets – are protected under the Act on the Protection of Trade Secrets. Proprietor can be any individual or company which has obtained a trade secret, inter alia by own discovery. In that sense the "first owner" would be the respective discoverer.

(c) Trade marks and business names

The first owner of a registered individual or collective trademark is the applicant in whose name the trade mark is registered. For unregistered trademarks, the first owner is the person in whose favour the recognition or the notoriety is acquired.

The first owner of the right to a company name is the owner of the respective business. For work titles it is the author of the work and anyone who legally uses the title for the work, e.g. the publisher.

(d) Supplementary protection of creative property under competition law

Supplementary protection of creative property under competition law is not an intellectual property right per se and has no "first owner".

(e) Registered designs

The first owner of a registered design is the applicant in whose favour the design is registered.

Where a design was created by an employee in the execution of his duties or following the instructions given by his employer, the right in the design shall belong to the employer, unless otherwise provided by contract.

(f) Copyright and database rights

For copyright, the first owner of the right is the author of the work. This also applies to software developed by employees, but an automatic license is granted to the employer, see below. For database rights, it is the producer of the database.

Where an author has created the work in the fulfilment of obligations resulting from an employment or service relationship, the copyright is with the author, unless otherwise provided in accordance with the terms or nature of the employment relationship.
Where a computer program is created by an employee in the execution of his duties or following the instructions of his employer, the employer exclusively shall be entitled (licensed) to exercise all economic rights in the computer program, unless otherwise agreed.

(g) Semiconductor topography rights

The right to apply for the registration of a semiconductor topography right vests in the creator, Section 2(1) German Semiconductor Protection Act. According to Section 3(2) No. 4 German Semiconductor Protection Act, the application must include information on the entitlement of the applicant with respect to Section 2 German Semiconductor Protection Act.
Where a topography was created by an employee in the execution of his duties or following the instructions given by his employer, the right in the topography shall belong to the employer, unless otherwise provided by contract.

(h) Plant variety right

The first owner of a plant variety right is the applicant in whose favour the plant variety is registered. However the same principles as for patents, utility models and registered designs apply, Section 8, 9 Act on the Protection of Plant Varieties.

Italy Small Flag Italy

In general, the first owner of an intellectual property right is the inventor, designer or author who created the work.

Some specific rules are stated with reference to the ownership of the IP rights over the inventions realised during the employment relationship by employees of private companies and public bodies. Article 64 of the IPC distinguish between:

  • Remunerated inventions: inventions realised by an employee during an employment relationship governed by a contract that expressly provides for the employee to receive compensation for the inventive activity;
  • Non-remunerated inventions: inventions realised by an employee during an employment relationship governed by a contract that expressly provides for the employee to receive which no compensation for the inventive activity;
  • Occasional inventions: inventions realised by an employee outside the scope of the duties of the employee, in accordance with the employment contract with the employer, that is nevertheless related to the employer's business and realised using the employer's means.

Article 64 of the IPC does not govern inventions by researchers working within a public university or a public research entity, which are governed by Article 65 of the IPC.

Most employee inventions will fall within either the remunerated invention or the non-remunerated invention category, with occasional inventions occurring far less often.

For remunerated and non-remunerated inventions, the related IP automatically belong to the employer (i.e. economic rights), with the employee however retaining the right to be recognised as the author of the invention (i.e. moral rights).

For occasional inventions, both the economic rights and the moral rights belong to the employee, who can choose to transfer them by a contractual agreement to the employer subject to receipt of a payment.

Payment for remunerated inventions is already provided for pursuant to the employment contract as a part of the total employee remuneration. For non-remunerated inventions the employee has a right to receive "fair compensation" (i.e. equo premio) and this right cannot be waived.

The IPC states that the fair compensation must be determined considering the importance of the invention, the role played by the inventor and the inventor's duties under the employment relationship, and the existence of any contribution granted by the employer; however, the IPC does not offer suggestions as to how these criteria should be applied in practice.

Enacted Law 81, of 22 May 2017, ("Law 81/17") specifically provides rules to govern inventions by free-lance workers, thus creating a difference in the treatment of independent contractors, compared to subordinate employees. Before Law 81/17, Italian courts tended to apply by analogy Article 64 ICP and the rules governing innovations by employees also to inventions by free-lancers.

As a result of Law 81/17, in absence of a specific contractual provisions in the contract with the free-lance worker, the principal will not have any economic right on any inventions by the free-lancer, not even those created in performance of the contract for services.

Therefore, except when the contract provides for the inventive activity to be specifically remunerated, it becomes a crucial issue for both parties to address and specifically regulate this matter from the outset, when drafting or renewing the contract for services.

Apart for patents, a general principle can be derived from some specific disposals, according to which, unless otherwise agreed between the parties, the works created by the employees in the course of their job do not belong to them but to their employers. In particular, this principle is expressly stated for software and database works in the Article 12 bis ICL, for design in Article 12 ter ICL and also for photographic works in the Article 88 ICL. The same provision is also applicable with reference to the works created by the workers employed in public entities such as the State or Universities which, therefore, retain every and all rights arising from those works.

France Small Flag France

Patents

The inventor or his successor in title (Article L.611-6 of the IPC).

However, if the invention is made by an employee in connection with his employment contract involving an inventive mission, the right to the patent belongs to the employer (Article L.611-7 section 1 of the IPC).

The invention made by an employee in connection with his employment contract without inventive mission can be assigned to the employer should the invention falls within the employer field of activity or if the employee used technical means and knowledge provided by the employee.

For any other invention, the right to the patent belongs to the employee (Article L.611-7 section 2 of the IPC).

Supplementary protection certificates

The right holder of the patent (Article L.611-3 of the IPC).

Utility certificates

The same conditions than for patent apply (Article L.611-2 of the IPC).

Trademarks

The applicant (Article L.712-1 of the IPC).

Collective and certification marks

The applicant (Article L.715-2 IPC).

Designations of origin, Geographical indications and traditional specialty guarantee

Defence organizations, on behalf of all their members, usually the producers.

Designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional specialty guarantees are signs that are not subject to private appropriation by a particular user to the detriment of others. In other words, any productor who complies with the specifications in the registered regulation is entitled to use it.

It is a collective right to the benefit of any producer complying with the specifications of the regulation (Article L.642-3 of the Rural and Sea Fishing Code, Article L.721-5 IPC and Article 23 of the EU Regulation 1151/2012).

Designs

The creator or his successor in title (Article L.511-9 of the IPC).

Semiconductors

The creator or his successor in title (Article L.622-3 of the IPC).

Plant varieties

The applicant (Article L.623-4 of the IPC).

Copyright

(including software)

The author of the work who is deemed to be the person under whose name the work has been disclosed (Article L.113-1 of the IPC).

However, in the case of a software created by an employee, the work belongs to the employer (Article L.113-9 of the IPC).

Neighbouring rights

The performer of the work (Article L.212-1 of the IPC)

The phonogram producer (Article L.213-1 of the IPC)

The videogram producer (Article L.215-1 of the IPC)

Audiovisual communications companies (Article L.216-1 of the IPC)

Databases

The producer of the database (Article L.342-1 of the IPC).

India Small Flag India

Patent

The inventor or its assignee is the first owner(s) of the patent rights. Unless, there is a formal employment agreement to this effect, all rights arising out of an invention vests with the employee inventor and an employer has to execute an assignment with the employee to acquire rights to an invention.

Designs

The Applicant/registered proprietor of a Design shall be considered the owner of the Design.

Trademarks

The Applicant/registered proprietor of a Trade mark; Collective Mark or Certification Mark shall be considered the owner of the Trade mark; Collective Mark or Certification Mark. In case of unregistered TM, the person who uses or controls the use of the mark is the owner.

Domain Name

The person and/or organization listed as the domain’s registrant or owner contact.

Copyrights

The author of a work is the owner of copyright therein.

Peru Small Flag Peru

(a) Inventions: The first owner is the inventor.

(b) Trademarks: The first owner is the first person who registers them.

(c) Copyright: The first owner is the creator.

Regarding inventions, industrial designs and circuit layout designs integrated, developed during an employment relationship or commission, we have the following rules:

  • If the object of the employment relationship considers it as a whole or part of its function, the realization of inventive activities, industrial designs or circuit layout integrated designs, the ownership belongs to the employer.

    However, the employer must include a monetary compensation to the worker, if the worker's personal contribution, the economic value or the importance of such invention, industrial design or scheme of integrated circuit design, exceeds the explicit or implicit objectives of the relationship.

  • If the worker performs an invention, industrial design or integrated circuit layout scheme concerning to his professional activity and through the use of resources or information provided by the employer, the employer will be entitled to assume the ownership or to reserve a right to use them, within the period of 90 days counted from the moment he became aware of the existence of the invention, industrial design or integrated circuit layout design. When the employer assumes the ownership of them or reserves a right to use them, the worker shall be entitled to a compensation.
  • When the circumstances provided in the two paragraphs above do not apply, the ownership shall belong exclusively to the inventor or designer thereof.

Greece Small Flag Greece

  • The inventor or his/her legal successor or assignee (individual, firm or corporate entity) and the joint inventors may apply for patent, utility model or design registration. The first applicant is considered to be the inventor.
  • If an invention is made by an employee who is bound by an employment contract with the purpose of carrying out inventive activities of the kind concerned, then such invention belongs entirely to the employer. If in such a case the invention is of particular benefit for the employer, the employee will be entitled to an additional reasonable compensation. If an invention is made by an employee where it was not his/her particular task to carry out inventive activities of the kind concerned, but the invention was made by making use of materials, methods or information belonging to the enterprise in which the inventor is employed, 40% of the invention will belong to the employer and 60% to the employee. In such a case the employer will have a preferential right to the exploitation of the invention against payment of compensation to the inventor based on the economic value of the invention and the profit brought by it. If such an invention is made, the inventor must inform the employer accordingly and furnish the necessary data for filing a joint patent application. If the employer does not, in due time inform the inventor in writing that he/she is interested in the filing of a joint application, the employee shall have the right to file a patent application alone and the invention shall then belong exclusively to the employee. If an invention is made by an employee who is not bound to carry out inventive activities of the kind concerned and the invention was not made by making use of materials, methods or information belonging to the enterprise in which the inventor is employed, such invention shall belong exclusively to the employee. Any agreement restricting the rights of an employee as referred to shall be null and void.
  • In the case of semiconductor topography rights, the first owner of the rights is the employer, both in case of work made for hire and employee contract.
  • In the case of copyright, if the work is created by an employee in the course of an employment contract, the employee is considered to be the initial owner of both pecuniary and moral rights. However, unless the contract provides otherwise, pecuniary rights over copyright created in the course of an employment contract are automatically assigned to the employer. Moral rights remain with the employee, but they are of limited significance. Automatic assignment will not extend to forms of exploitation which were unknown at the time of creation of the relevant work. In the case of rights under a commission, copyright is retained by the author, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.

Malta Small Flag Malta

Trademarks: The owner of a trademark is the person who registers the mark in their name.

Unfair Competition: The holder of the rights granted by virtue of the provisions preventing the subsistence of unfair competition would depend on the reputation associated with such a holder and again this would depend on an analysis carried out on a case by case basis.

Copyright: Under the Copyright Act, the first owner of copyright is the author or the joint authors, as the case may be. With regard to computer programs and databases which are made in the course of the author’s employment, in the execution of one’s duties or following the instructions given by the employer, the economic rights conferred by copyright are transferred ex lege to the employer, subject to any agreement between the parties excluding or limiting such transfer. In respect of other works eligible for copyright created pursuant to a contract of service or employment, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary between the parties, the copyright shall always initially vest in the author or joint authors.
When semiconductor product topographies are created in the course of employment, in the execution of one’s duties or following the instructions given by the employer, the rights conferred upon such semiconductor product topographies are transferred to the creators’ employer, subject to any agreement between the parties limiting or excluding same.

Designs: A registered design is a property right obtained by the registration of the design conferring on to the proprietor of a registered design the rights and remedies provided by Maltese law.

Patents: The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor or his successor in title. Joint inventors shall, unless they agree otherwise, have equal rights and where the application for a patent is made by two or more persons jointly, a patent may be granted to them jointly. With regard to patents created in the execution of a commission or a contract employment, the Maltese Patents and Designs Act provides that the right to a patent for that invention shall belong, in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, to the person having commissioned the work or to the employer.

Trade Secrets: The law refers to a “trade secret holder” which is defined as any natural or legal person lawfully controlling a trade secret. This is to be read in conjunction with other articles which define unlawful acquisition of a trade secret in order to correctly determine whether a particular trade secret holder can qualify for the definition which is set by law.

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

Under Saudi Trademark Law, a trademark registrant is the owner of a trademark.

The inventor has right to file for patent protection. If the invention is created as a result of employment relationship, the employer will be the owner of patent unless there is contractual clause to the contrary.

For literary and artistic works, the author is owner of Copyright in work. Saudi Copyright Law does not clarify the question of ownership for commissioned work, therefore the understanding is that author can still claim rights unless the agreement clearly says otherwise.

Australia Small Flag Australia

In general, the creator/author/maker/inventor/designer of the intellectual property right is the first owner.

However, an employer will own the intellectual property created by employees in the course of their employment. If the intellectual property right was created by an employee, other than in the course of their employment, the employee will retain ownership of the intellectual property.

The same rule does not apply to an independent contractor or consultant. A contractor or consultant will own the intellectual property created during the course of an engagement, unless there is an agreement stating otherwise.

Intellectual property rights that arise in the course of a commission will, in some circumstances, be owned by the commissioner.

United States Small Flag United States

In general, the first owner of a patent or copyright is the inventor, designer, or author who created the work. The first owner of a trademark is one who first uses the mark in commerce.

Under the “work made for hire” doctrine codified in the Copyright statute, a designer or author’s copyright may transfer to the employer if the requirements are met. While no similar codified law exists for patents and trademarks, employers and employees can sign contracts containing a “work made for hire” provision, which assigns the employee’s rights to patents or trademarks to the employer.

Updated: September 12, 2019