Thursday, January 06, 2011

Employees and Inventions

An employee working in a candy store invents a new and cheaper way to make chocolate. Who owns the invention? The candy store employer or the employee?

Depending on the employer-employee relationship, either the employer or the employee may legally claim ownership of the invention. Just because the employee works at the candy store does not automatically entitle the candy store to claim ownership of the new way to make chocolate.

Many factors of the employment relationship must be considered, including the employment agreement, the nature of the job, how the invention was made, and many other factors. In such situations, it's important to consult an intellectual property lawyer to determine who is entitled to claim the invention and to apply for a patent covering the invention.

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