Changes to German law on employee inventions, Status: 1 October 2009


Changes to German law on employee inventions

In force as of 1 October 2009 the German law on employee inventions has changed in some aspects:


Newly, an employee invention notified to the employer is deemed to be claimed for the employer, if the employer does not explicitly release the invention within 4 months from notification.
The rights and duties on both sides after claiming of rights are not affected by the present amendments to the law, in particular the right of the employer to file a patent application, as well as the duty to a fair remuneration of the employee upon making use of the invention.


Only the strict requirement to the „written form“ (i.e. with original signature) has been replaced throughout the amended law with the more contemporary and practicable „text form“. Said change now alows, inter alia, the use of fax and e-mail in the correspondence between employee and employer, in particular also for giving notice of the invention.


Further amendments to the German law on employee inventions relate to the right of the employee inventors in case of bancruptcy.


These are only the most important changes. For more detailed information on changes and for any questions you may have, please feel free to contact us.