This matter is not harmonised at the European level, and is therefore regulated by national laws. However, as a general principle in Europe, the rights to intellectual property developed by an employee in the course of his employment duties usually belong to the employer. Sometimes an assignment is mandatory, such as where employee works (inventions) are assigned by an employee to the employer because of the employment contract. On the other hand it is generally acknowledged that the rights to intellectual property (e.g.
In Your Europe, a website maintained by the European Commission, you can find an overview of the intellectual property (IP) framework at the EU level and also in all Member States. A list of resources and contacts of organisations that can provide you with further assistance can also be found on this website.
Intellectual property is created by most companies, whatever business they are involved in. For many of these organisations, intellectual property is even their most important asset (e.g. startup or spin out companies)
Safeguarding this possession is therefore vital and can offer SMEs many opportunities, in particular:
Intellectual property rights (IPR) are legal rights aimed at protecting the creations of the intellect, such as inventions, the appearance of products, literary, artistic and scientific works and signs, among others.