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Inventions made by employees

26 July 2000

Italian Companies which have branches, or connected companies, in Northern European countries, such as Germany, Holland, Austria or Sweden, sometimes find themselves in difficulty when, in the event that one of their employees invents something, they are requested to recognize not only the right of said employee to be cited as the inventor, but also a specific compensation for him.

In Italy, even though the specific rights of an inventor do exist (the right to be named as the inventor, and the right to compensation), they are not yet properly known by the inventors as far as the inventive activity which they perform in favor of the Company is concerned; in Northern European countries, on the contrary, employees are more aware of their rights and Companies know that they have to respect them. It should be noted, for example, that in Germany there is a specific, detailed law which regulates all sides of the problem.

For this reason, it is important that those Companies operating in Northern European countries should be specifically aware of these norms, which can create considerable problems.

It is also important for Companies, where possible, to stipulate precise agreements with their employees, in good time, so as to avoid unpleasant surprises also for the staff working in Italy, and so as to work in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.

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