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Act on inventions

 

In the event of any inconsistency between the Danish and English language versions of the document, the Danish version prevails

 

Consolidation Act No. 210 of 17 March 2009 on inventions at public research institutions (Commercial application of rights, etc.)

This Act consolidates the Act on inventions at public research institutions.

Notice is hereby given of Act No. 347 of 2 June 1999 on inventions at public research institutions, as amended by section 50 of Act No. 145 of 25 March 2020, section 7 of Act No. 545 of 24 June 2005, section 34 of Act No. 523 of 6 June 2007 and Act No. 1413 of 27 December 2008.

Purpose

1.-(1) It is the purpose of this Act to ensure that research results produced by means of public funds are utilised for the benefit of Danish society through commercial exploitation.

Scope of the Act

2.-(1) The Act applies to:

1) inventions made by an employee as part of his work at an institution as mentioned in section 6 of this Act.

2) the commercial application of rights as described in sections 12 and 14-14B.

3.-(1) In this Act, invention means an invention or creation which is eligible for patent protection under the Danish Patents Act or for registration as a utility model under the Danish Utility Models Act.

4.-(1) In this Act, employee means any person employed at an institution as described in section 6 of this Act.

5.-(1) In this Act, the work of an employee means all activities performed as part of his employment.

6.-(1) In this Act, institution means the institution at which the employee in question is employed. The Act is applicable to the following institutions: universities governed by the Danish University Act,,governmental research institutions, public hospitals, health research institutions under the Danish regions, and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

Distribution of the Right to Inventions 

7.-(1) The rights to inventions made by an employee at an institution shall be accorded to the employee with the limitations that are a consequence of this Act.

8.-(1) If an employee has made an invention as part of his work, the institution has a right to transfer to itself the rights attached to the invention.

(2) The provision in subsection 1 shall also apply if the invention has been made jointly by several employees employed at the institution.

(3) If an employee enters a cooperation which involves employees from several institutions, the institutions shall agree upon the distribution of their rights under this Act.

9.-(1) The institution may, in relation to projects which are completed in cooperation with or are financed, in full or in part, by a party not included by the Act, on its own and the employee’s behalf, upon prior agreement with the party concerned, renounce the right to the inventions made by the project, in full or in part.

Notification and Evaluation

10.-(1) If an employee has made an invention as part of his work, he shall notify the institution hereof in writing without undue delay. In this connection, the employee is under an obligation to provide the institution with all necessary information as directed by the institution.

(2) The institution may lay down specific rules concerning how notification pursuant to subsection 1 is to be performed. The institution may decide that the obligation of notification pursuant to subsection 1 does not apply within areas in which prior experience shows that inventions are not made.

(3) The employee may neither publicise nor have the disposal of an invention before the institution has provided written confirmation of receipt of the notification referred to in subsection 1. The institution is under an obligation to send this confirmation as soon as possible.

11.-(1) Within two months from the date of notification under section 10(1) of this Act, the institution shall carry out an evaluation of the possibility of exploiting the invention commercially and of protecting the rights to the invention, and discuss how the rights to the invention may be exploited commercially with the employee.

(2) The institution may, concurrently with its confirmation under section 10(3) of this Act, order the employee not to publish or have the disposal of an invention for up to two months from receipt of the notification required under section 10(1) of this Act. 1.

(3) The time limits prescribed in subsections 1 and 2 may be extended on agreement with the employee.

(4) The institution shall, within the limit prescribed in subsection 1 or the limit agreed upon pursuant to subsection 3, make a decision on a claim for the transfer of rights pursuant to section 8 of this Act, or on whether the employee retains his rights pursuant to section 7 of this Act in exchange for compensation pursuant to section 12(2).

(5) If the institution has not given the employee notice of its decision pursuant to subsection 4 within the limit prescribed in subsection 1 or the limit agreed upon pursuant to subsection 3, all rights to the invention remain with the employee.

(6) If the rights attached to an invention have been transferred to the institution with a view to commercial exploitation, cf. section 8 of this Act, the institution is under an immediate obligation to promote the active exploitation of the rights.

Commercial exploitation

12.-(1) If the rights to an invention which has been transferred to the institution under section 8 of this Act have been exploited commercially, the employee responsible for making the invention is entitled to reasonable compensation from the institution.

(2) If the rights to an invention, on agreement with the institution, are exploited commercially by the employee who has made the invention, the institution is entitled to reasonable compensation.

(3) The rules for calculation of the amount of compensation are laid down by the institution pursuant to subsections 1 and 2.

13.-(1) The institution may, where particular ethical considerations apply according to an employee, accept that an invention not become the object of commercial exploitation, including protection when filing an application for a patent or utility model registration.

(2) Section 11 of this Act does not apply if a decision as described in subsection 1 is made.

14.-(1) If the rights to an invention have been transferred to the institution pursuant to section 8 of this Act, a third party may enter into agreements on exploitation of the invention with the institution in question.

(2) If the rights to an invention have not been transferred to the institution pursuant to section 8 of this Act, a third party may enter into agreements on exploitation of the invention with the employee in question.

14A-(1) In addition to rights to inventions made by an employee, cf. section 8, the institution may acquire rights to inventions as well as computer programme copyrights for the purposes of commercial exploitation, cf. section 1, under the following circumstances:

1) upon agreement with a student not employed by the institution, or with another party as part of their mutual cooperation, when this is wholly or partially financed by public funds, on condition that the other party does not intend to exploit these rights commercially.

2) upon agreement with another institution as described in section 6.

14B-(1) In the event that the institution has transferred the rights to an invention to a third party who subsequently abandons commercial exploitation of these rights, the institution may enter into an agreement with a third party in order to reacquire these rights. The institution may reacquire unexploited computer programme copyrights pursuant to the Danish Copyright Act.

Revenue and Expenditure of the Institution

15.-(1) The institution may incur costs in connection with the acquisition, transfer and protection of the rights to inventions as well as computer programmes pursuant to the provisions in sections 12 and 14-14B.

(2) The institution may pay all expenses in connection with the transfer and protection of rights to inventions which are within the scope of section 2 of this Act but which are transferred to the institution after the expiration of the time limits prescribed in section 11 of this Act.

16.-(1) The Vice-Chancellor, the Board, or the hospital owner shall employ the revenues from the transfer of rights to further activities congruent with the purpose of the institution in question.

(2) The institution may receive revenues in the form of dividends by transferring its rights pursuant to section 14(1) or section 14A(1) to a limited liability company in return for remuneration in the form of an ownership interest.

(3) Pursuant to the provisions of subsection 2, the institution may not hold the same relationship to the company that a parent company has with a subsidiary pursuant to Danish legislation on private and public limited companies, either independently or in cooperation with other institutions, as described in section 6.

Statute-barring

17. (Repealed)

Decision-making Competence

18.-(1) The decisions made by the institution pursuant to this Act shall be made in the universities by the Vice-Chancellor, in government research institutions by the Board, and in public hospitals by the hospital owner. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor, the Board or the hospital owner, respectively, cannot be brought before another administrative authority.

Entry into Force, Etc.

19.-(1) This Act enters into force on 1 July.99.

(2) This Act applies to inventions made after 1 January 2000.   Inventions of which the employee has not notified the institution before 1 January 2000 will be considered as having been made after this date.

(3) The institution and the employee shall respect opposing rights acquired by transfer before 1 July 1999.

20.-(1) The Act does not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

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Act No. 145 of 25 March 2002 contains the following provision regarding entry into force:

78.-(1) This Act enters into force on 1  January 2003, cf. however section 79 subsection 1. 1.1)

(2) (Repealed).

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Act No. 545 of 24 June 2005 contains the following provision regarding entry into force:

18.-(1) This Act enters into force on 1 January 2007.2)

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Act No. 523 of 6 June 2007 contains the following provision regarding entry into force:

47.-(1) This Act enters into force on 1 January 2008.3)

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Act No. 1413 of 27 December 2008 contains the following provision regarding entry into force:

2.-(1) This Act enters into force on 1 January 2009.4)

(2) Section 16(3) of the Act on inventions at public research institutions as drafted in section 1(vi) of this Act applies solely to ownership interests obtained in cooperation with other institutions after 1 January 2009.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, 17 March 2009

Helge Sander

/ Frej Sorento Dichmann

Official Notes

1) The amendment pertains to section 6.

2) The amendment pertains to section 6.

3) The amendment pertains to section 17.

4) Subsection 1 of the provision regarding entry into force pertains to sections 2 and 6, section 12(3), sections 14A and 14B, section 15(1), section 16(2-3) and section 18(i).

Comments on content: 
Revised 2014.09.01

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