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If an employee, John, switches from Company A to Company B, and the nature of John's work is similar at both companies, and John applies for a patent at Company B related to the same field he worked in at Company A, does Company A have the right to raise arguments regarding the ownership of this patent? Or, does this potentially involve unfair competition? (Would John's nationality affect the applicable laws?) I am particularly interested in the legal provisions in France, Germany, Finland, and under European Patent (EP) laws.

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  • Just the same field or evidence that the invention was made while working for A ? Are you concerned about trade secrets or just patents?
    – George White
    Nov 6, 2023 at 16:46
  • Hello, Mr. George White, I'm more interested in patents rather than trade secrets, but I'm also quite interested in trade secrets.Additionally, even providing relevant legal statutes or precedents would be greatly beneficial to me.Regarding the matter of evidence, since my inquiry does not pertain to ongoing litigation or potential legal proceedings but is more related to work requirements, I cannot provide additional details. In China, if John applies for a patent in a related field at Company B within a year of leaving Company A, the patent ownership may be awarded to Company A.
    – RAEER
    Nov 7, 2023 at 2:11
  • This may be affected by any employment agreement with company A. The main question is whether the invention used any proprietary information from Company A. Is so there is a risk that Company A will sue Company B.
    – Eric S
    Nov 7, 2023 at 19:58
  • HI,@EricS ,thanks for your comennts. In fact, determining whether John has used proprietary information is extremely difficult. There is no relevant content in the employment agreement, as including such provisions in employment agreements would, in fact, be illegal, infringing upon the rights of employees. Non-compete agreements are not within the scope of our discussion. I am more interested in understanding whether there are patent ownership disputes arising from issues other than trade secrets in the context of the situation I mentioned earlier.
    – RAEER
    Nov 14, 2023 at 8:28

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