Employee inventions and copyright
Inventions made in employment and public service relationships are subject to the Act on the Right in Employee Inventions. The Act applies solely to inventions protected by patents, and it was enacted to safeguard research and product development in the business sector.
An employee is entitled to reasonable compensation if their employer decides to claim the right to the employee’s invention. The amount of the compensation must account for the value of the invention, the scope of the right granted to the employer, the terms and conditions of the employment contract, and other factors related to the employment relationship that have relevance for the conception of the invention. The employee’s right to reasonable compensation cannot be agreed on otherwise by way of an employment contract or rules.
The employer is entitled to claim a full or partial right to an invention that has been conceived as a result of a task defined more specifically in the work. The employer may claim rights to an invention if the invention was conceived as a result of the employee’s tasks and the utilization of the invention falls within the scope of the employer’s operations. The employer is entitled to claim a right of use to an invention if the invention has been conceived of in some other relation to the employment relationship, but its utilization falls within the scope of the employer’s operations.
If the employer wants a more extensive right to an invention than what is mentioned above, or if the utilization of an invention made during free time falls within the scope of the employer’s operations, for example, the employer has priority for negotiating on the invention. If the invention has no connection whatsoever to the employment relationship, the employer has no greater right to the invention than anyone else.
The Act on the Right in Employee Inventions does not apply to persons employed by institutions of higher education.
The Copyright Act contains provisions on the transfer of intellectual property rights for computer programs and databases based on an employment relationship.