Germany has a law called Arbeitnehmererfinderrecht, employee-inventors right that handles the rights of an employee who invents something at work. Basically, it says as an amployee you have to report a (possible) invention that is connected to your work. You employee ca nthen decide wether to apply for a patent, treat the invention as an inernal trade secret, or leave the invention to the inventor (who may then apply for the patent). If the employer patents the invention, the employee has the right to be named as inventor in the patent to receive some compensation.

Now, my (german) employer has an American parent company. So I wonder if, should I ever make a proper invention at work, there's anything legal that stops my employer from handing the idea up the chain to the parent company, leaving me out of the loop*. I'm not asking for a definite legal advice on the topic. I'm asking wether there are maybe relevant cases that can give me an indication what protection the law ofers me, and what I should look out for.

  • is there a term for an invention made at work? if so, please tag!
    – mart
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


No one can leave inventor out of loop, organization cant invent of its own. in all patent jurisdiction inventors signature is required to file patent application.

In case Person is not mentioned as inventor then he can file petition/application in patent office for claim. for more information on subject please visit Link

Further to your second query on legal cases you might have to look into using German court specific databases and its out of patent exchange forum.

But just for heads up, local applicable law will work on German firm, even though owner is american firm. German firm might have given right to file intellectual property but as i said earlier inventor will be credited for IP.

  • 1
    I have recently came across one publication about same subject matter, and it said employer has to explicitly waive off his rights to file patent within 4 months in that condition employee owns the invention and can file patent of its own.
    – Pushpak
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:09
  • Pushpack, can you please state the reference for your last statement: "But just for heads up, local applicable law will work on German firm, even though owner is american firm. " Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:38

The 4-month limitation period was in existence in the Act prior to 2009. The current state of the Act has the rights to the invention implicitly pass to the employer after the 4-month period regardless of whether or not the employer claims the invention.

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