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New rules on academic IP ownership considered by Sejm

  • Poland
  • Intellectual property


In Poland, industrial property rights created during academic R&D projects as a rule belong to the universities. In this respect, universities mirror solutions adopted by the private sector. However, educational institutions are not profit-oriented entities and may lack the incentive to monetise solutions developed by their researchers. As a result, scientists may leave universities for the private sector or lose the incentive to create solutions that meet market needs. This problem, recognised by commentators, may be solved if the Sejm (Polish parliament) adopts a government proposal to amend the Higher Education Law.

IP rights as property' of the employer
The Industrial Property Law states that it's the creator who's entitled to obtain a patent for an invention, a protective right to a utility model or registration of an industrial design. This rule has important limitations, taking into account the fact that industrial property is seldom created in isolation. The law provides that where an invention, utility model or industrial design is accomplished within the creator's performance of a contract (employment or otherwise), it's the employer (or party paying the fee under the contract) who's entitled to the right to registration, unless the parties agreed otherwise. Contractual stipulations that give the creator industrial property rights are rare.

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Source: Paweł Lipski, BPCC Contact Magazine, May 2014

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