Jointly Owned Intellectual Property Agreement

Many businessmen, and even experienced lawyers and practitioners, lack a thorough assessment of what common ownership actually means in practice, but they still accept it because “it seems right” or “it`s always been done that way.” In reality, common ownership of intellectual property is fraught with danger and is contrary to general perception, often unfair and, worse, generally unenforceable. The issue of common intellectual property ownership is therefore even more complex when the same IP product is protected in several jurisdictions, because different countries have different IP laws. In addition, parties based in different countries that deal with common ownership in accordance with their individual national laws may have very different expectations and/or experiences as to what it means to be a co-owner. With regard to British patents, Section 36 of the Patents Act 1977 deals with the rights of co-owners. Subject to a contrary agreement, any co-owner has the right to exploit the patent himself, but must obtain the consent of the other owner: (a) to modify or revoke the patent; (b) licensing under the patent; or (c) to give up or mortgage its share of the patent. Intellectual property in cooperation agreements There are a number of alternative approaches and better approaches that are worth considering instead of approving common intellectual property. One party may own all of the intellectual property generated by collaborative innovation and concede it to the other party. The intellectual property portfolio created can be distributed among the parties on the basis of the special interests of each party. If several parties are involved in collaborative innovation and there is a large intellectual property portfolio, a “patent pool” agreement may be considered, with the appointment of a director. Or the intellectual property portfolio can be distributed among the parties to spread costs and provide coverage with cross-licensing. Common Intellectual Property, Perceived as a “Fair” Solution An intention to create legal relations is necessary There are several situations in which, according to the decision, a court considers that an agreement is not binding because, although it was supported by a counterparty, it did not intend to create legal relations, see “blue v Ashley”).

Do the parties intend to establish a common IP ownership scenario by agreement or by inattention to ownership issues? A patent can, for example. B request the designation of several inventors, and in the absence of a job or other agreement on the property, each designated inventor is by default co-owner of the entire patent. A group of computer programmers can compose themselves to create a new application and end up as co-authors who, together, own the copyright to the combined software. Two companies working together on a new project could agree to share costs fairly and decide to allocate brand ownership and other IP rights arising from the collective effort, for reasons of fairness.

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