How are employee inventions handled in Japan?

Do foreign heirs have to pay Japanese inheritance tax?
March 31, 2017
What is the registration fee to establish a corporation in Japan?
April 5, 2017
Show all

An employee invention is an invention that is within the business scope of the employee’s company and made by the employee as part of the duties of his or her job.  Under Article 35 of the Patent Act, employers are granted a non-exclusive license to the employee invention.  The reasoning behind this is that the employee was working on behalf of the employer when the invention was created and being compensated for that work by the employer, so the employer should also be able to enjoy the benefits of the patent on the invention.

It is also possible that employers and employees can agree to the rights of any future inventions in their employment agreement or employee regulations.  However, even in cases where the employer is granted rights over the patent through an agreement, the employee has the right to claim “reasonable value” from the employer as the actual inventor of the patented invention.

If you have any questions about licensing intellectual property please contact our office for a legal consultation.