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Personnel and IP rights

In the Netherlands, we have employers’ IP rights. In other words: intellectual property rights ensuing from activities that are performed by employees will accrue to the employer. However, this is subject to one condition, namely that the activities undertaken by the employee fall within the scope of his job description. This makes a good job description important. It will also be vital to make clear agreements about the remuneration that the employee receives.

Another important aspect will be for the rights to the invention to be transferred from the operating company (the employer) to a separate company. When doing this, consideration must be given to the fact that the permission of inventors will be required in a number of countries when effecting a transfer of this nature. These countries include the USA, Canada, Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico. This will apply even in a situation in which the employer is the entitled party. For this reason, the employment contract must include the obligation for the employee to render his or her collaboration in the event of a transfer and this obligation must continue to apply even after the termination of the employment contract in question. It is also advisable to know where to contact (former) employees, as the deadlines within which permission for a rights transfer must be obtained are quite short.

For the rest, it is possible for the working relationship to be governed by a law other than Dutch law. However, the above may sometimes be slightly different where this is the case. Do not hesitate to have your (standard) employment contract checked.