Patent ownership, such as copyright, is probably owned by the inventor, i.e. by the worker`s inventor. Employment contracts generally require the transfer of ideas to the employer, including patentable ideas. Even in the absence of such an agreement, the ownership of workers should not lead to the exclusivity of the use or exploitation of this idea. The employer may continue to hold “sales rights” over the process or invention it supports. The idea of store rights simply gives an employer who finances, materials, tools or working time for the project is not just eart free rights for the use of an invention. The employer may not cede or transfer sales rights to another, unless expressly permitted, except for a transfer of the employer`s business in a commercial transaction. For example, the assertion of ownership is prudent simply because the idea was conceived or developed at home, during working hours or with personal equipment. The fact that a worker has used the employer`s equipment alone is not sufficient to demonstrate that the employer should own the intellectual property created by the use of that equipment.
Similarly, it is not enough for the employee to claim ownership simply because he used his personal equipment or because he conceived the idea at home. The analysis will look in detail at the role of the employee in the company and whether the idea comes from that role. Thus, the employee in the shower at home, who suddenly imagined the much sought-after solution on which he worked, cannot claim ownership of the idea simply because the idea was born in the shower. Similarly, an employer cannot assert rights to the creation of home-built computer software by an employee in which the employee`s role is not related to the player`s position, even if the employee has taken notes on his gambling ideas during working hours or tested those ideas on the employer`s computers. Companies often hire staff to develop new products, improve processes, create new technologies and open new markets. This investment should not come as a surprise to the fact that employers generally own the intellectual property created by their employees in the course of their employment. However, the intellectual property created by a worker, except during employment, belongs to the worker and not to the employer. These simple principles pose challenges for both workers and employers. Second, employers should include a language detailing what happens when the employee hijacks and/or violates the property of the IP company. The agreement should include an appeal and discharge provision that would sanitize the right of omission and include the recovery of legal fees and fees in the event of evidence of the worker`s offence. Employers often forget to include such a language and, as a result, there are no sensible “teeth” to the agreement, so some employees are courageous in their selfish actions. The intellectual property created during a worker`s employment does not correspond to the employer`s automatic and exclusive ownership of any intellectual property.
Employers who mistakenly believe that they own such property can automatically pay an expensive price – monetaryly and by losing inventions or improvements – because they have not protected that intellectual property or to effectively guarantee workers` rights. In the absence of a labour agreement, policy or written agreement to transfer rights to the employer, employers can continue to successfully enforce property rights over employee inventions that were created during the worker`s employment.