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German Employee Invention Act-ZSP
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German Employee Invention Act

German Employee Invention Act

The lion’s share of inventions is made by employees, which raises the question of who is the owner of these inventions.

The patent attorneys of ZSP Patentanwälte have comprehensive expertise in the area of the German Employee Invention Act and are therefore able to deal with all the questions relating to the German Employee Invention Act that are of importance to you and can help you to develop suitable strategies, schedules and forms to deal with the requirements of the German Employee Invention Act.

Solutions in law:

On the one hand, considered from the point of view of employment law, the employer is the owner of the results of an employee’s work, while on the other hand according to patent law the inventor, i.e. the person who made the invention, is entitled to the right to the patent. The German Employee Invention Act provides solutions regarding the conflict of these antagonistic interests of employer and employee by regulating among other things who and under which conditions the employer becomes owner of a service invention, i.e. an invention made by an employee, in which way a service invention differs from other inventions and if the service invention is claimed by and thus transferred to the employer, that and as of which date the employee in return is entitled to an adequate compensation.


As the regulations of the German Employee Invention Act directly influence the rights and duties concerning an invention, failure to comply therewith or a wrong application of these regulations can lead to undesired results and protracted disputes between employer and employee. For example, if the employee files an unauthorized application for a protective right, the employer can have claims vis-à-vis the employee for transfer of the invention, damages and injunction.