Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Research | Knowledge Transfer / Patents | Patents and Licenses | Information on the Notification Requirements for Employees' Inventions

Information on the Notification Requirements for Employees' Inventions

I. Notification Requirement of Employees' Inventions pursuant to the German Act on Employees’ Inventions

When utilising research results, the German Act on Employees' Inventions (Arbeitnehmererfindungsgesetz, hereafter ArbEG) of 25 July 1957, with amendment to §42 by the 18.01.2002, applies to all employees who have an employment or service contract with the university.

I. 1.
Section 4 of the ArbEG distinguishes between employment inventions and free inventions. Only employment inventions (for example by research associates) that are made during the duration of the service or employment contract, and that have either developed from such activities of the inventor as were part of his work, or which are significantly based on experiences or work of the university come under the requirement for notification. Other inventions are free inventions, which the inventor has unrestricted use of, nevertheless, they too should be disclosed to the university (Disclosure and Offer Requirements, s. 18 and s. 19 of the ArbEG).

I. 2
The former special rules regarding professors, lecturers and research assistants has ceased to exist with effect from 7 February 2002. From now on universities follow the basic principle that every invention by an employee of the university, acting in the course of his duty, may be claimed. In return, the inventor's bonus is now 30% of the gross exploitation revenues thereof. Further information regarding the legal protection of research achievements can be found in the information leaflet "Patente und Lizenzen", as well as in the German Act on Employees' Inventions (Gesetz über Arbeitnehmererfindungen) of 25 July 1957, with amendment to §42 by the 18.01.2002.

II. Claiming of the Invention / Acquisition by the Employer

Within four months of receipt of a complete invention disclosure form the university will assess whether it will avail itself of the invention, agrees a reasonable share in a possible success, or whether it releases the invention. Where the university claims the invention, the university shall undertake the registration of the industrial property right at its own expense. The registration shall be made in the name of the university, with the inventor(s) also being named in the registration papers.

Contact persons at the university:
Invention disclosure forms should be addressed to the division for research matters of the university. Further information and the relevant forms for industrial property right registrations are available from the contact point.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Forschungsabteilung / Kontaktstelle Patente und Lizenzen
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 2093-1652
Fax.: +49 30 2093-1660

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