View all Webinars

Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

Close     Close Mobile Menu

IP Ownership & Clearance for Technology

This section of the SLW Institute discusses the issues related to the ownership, in-bound licensing and patent clearance of IP used in company products or operations.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that a company own all IP created for its company by employees or contractors. The originality of software or other design materials can be covered by terms in employment agreements, contracts with third parties, and through company employee policies.

Whenever working with an outside party (e.g. a contractor or joint development partner) on product or technology development, it is important to have an agreement in place not only defining the working arrangement, but also the ownership of IP developed during the relationship. Without an agreement in place, jointly developed inventions will generally be regarded as jointly owned between the parties. This is not always desirable. Developed IP can have real value, and as such, an agreement and associated compensation structure between the parties must take into consideration IP ownership.

The ownership and/or control of IP created pursuant to joint or collaborative efforts with outside entities, such as business partners and contractors, is often disadvantageous to a company unless well defined in a written agreement. As a result, it is important that a Company not jointly or collaboratively develop technology unless the ownership of all IP developed in such efforts is well defined in writing prior to initiation of such development. Additionally, in order to maintain proof of conception, new technology and ideas should be well documented internally before being shared with a third party.