Intellectual property lawyers: law & employment
Intellectual property lawyers: Intellectual property rights in employment contracts subject to Luxembourg law
It is recommended to pay particular attention to the provisions relating to Intellectual property rights in employment contracts subject to Luxembourg law.
The issue of Intellectual property rights in employement contracts subject to Luxembourg law is particularly important when employees are working on issues which may involve creation such as the development of softwares, the drafting of articles, the creation of logo or design, the conduct of scientific reaseaches, photography, etc.
In such case, it is important to anticipate in the employement contract the transfer of intellectual property rights and an intellectual property lawyer can be helpfull in this situation.
As regards, copyrights, it is permitted under Luxembourg law to assign copyrights for the whole term of protection and for future methods and forms of exploitation of the intellectual property rights, provided that the author receives a specific rémuneration.
This is however not automatic, which means that if there is not a specific provision in the employment contract the employee will stay the owner of the works created and protected by copyright.
It must be noted that under article 12 of the law of 18 April 2001 on copyrights, assignment of copyrights is to be interpreted restrictively in favour of the author. Economic rights (right of reproduction and communication to the public) and moral rights may be freely transferred from the employee to the employer limited that honour and reputation of the author are not wounded.
It should also be noted that an author is not allowed to waive his moral rights before its existence. Therefore such a provision included in an employment contract would be considered as not enforceable.
Regarding patents, the assignment from the employee to the employer is automatic. However, pursuant to article 17 of the law of 20 July 1992 amending the patent regime, the inventor has the right to be designated as such in the official documentation.
Article 13 (3) of the modified law of 20 July 1992 amending the patent regime, provides that when the employer obtains a significant profit by reason of a patent, he shall be required to give to the inventor an equitable compensation in the profits thus made.
An clause included in an employment contract which would state that the employee agrees that any financial compensation related to the assignment of intellectual property rights is fully included in the remuneration paid to the employee could be considered as unenforceable by a Luxembourg court.Contacter LG AVOCATS