From the ownership of inventions and creations to the possibility for the company to exploit them, it is a panel of legal issues that the employer must apprehend. Beyond these, why not make it a competitive advantage for your business?
Is your company concerned?
This topic interests you if you know any of the following situations for example:
• You employ designers, graphic designers, creative people, art directors, marketing managers, editors, etc.;
• You have already patented an innovation designed by an employee or collectively by a team, or plan to do so;
• Your employees have the skills to innovate within or outside the company;
• You want to empower one of your employees to develop an entrepreneurial project or if such a project has already been implemented within your company, allowing it to rotate or find new markets.
What are the challenges for my company? How to turn them into opportunities?
An analysis of your situation, the number, and profile of the employees concerned is the starting point to get in compliance: many tools can accompany your strategy, from the amendment of employment contracts to the development of internal innovation policy in particular.
Thus, for example, while copyright is born immediately on the head of the creator at the time he created, no legal provision provides for the automatic transmission to his employer: a contractual arrangement, such as an amendment to the contract of work, is then necessary
It is also possible to supervise the payment of bonuses to employees, both in their amounts and in their triggering criteria, or the management of inventions created by several inventors.
Finally, it is the best way to limit future disputes, whose financial consequences can be huge if the success of an invention is at the rendezvous. Moreover, this topic can also be turned into an opportunity to mobilize and motivate your teams on your development issues.
The employee must communicate his invention to the employer
The employee must not hide his discovery from the employer. Instead, the employee who considers having made a patentable invention must state the invention to his employer by providing the classification of the invention among three categories (the three categories are inventive mission / Duty Invention, invention realized out of mission: Attributable, invention realized out of mission: none Attributable). This determines the respective rights of the employee and the employer.
The invention conducted during an employment contract with an inventive mission
The invention, carried out by an employee with an employment contract with an invention mission, belongs to the employer because it arises from the execution of studies and research carried out by the employee, in agreement with his employment contract.
The attribution of an invention conducted by an employee without an inventive mission
An invention conducted out of mission at the employee's initiative, either during the execution of his duties or in the field of the company's activities, by use of techniques, information or specific means provided by the company.
The attribution of a non-attributable invention conducted out of the mission
The non-attributable invention made out of mission is not part of any of the two previous categories. This is when an employee in his free time makes an inventive discovery and wishes to protect this invention with a patent. The means used to conduct the invention are not provided by the employer.