Publication details

Employment Contracts and the Law Applicable to the Right to a Patent: Czech Considerations



Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Description The number of intellectual property cases that include cross-border elements is growing due to rapidly evolving technologies and advancing globalization. The free movement of workers in research and development also leads to numerous international private law issues, especially in situations where employees are hired to produce new inventions. Since it is necessary to consider private international law issues related to the cross-border production of new inventions more frequently than in the past, we have to clarify if the law applicable to employment contracts concluded with the inventors also governs the issues related to intellectual property protection. This paper focuses on the law applicable to employee inventions, especially to the right to a patent, and aims to show how the boundaries between the scope of application of the employment statute (lex contractus) and the so-called intellectual property statute (lex loci protectionis) are set in the Czech private international law. We will argue that the employment statute is an obligation statute and, therefore, can only be applied to the relationship between the contractual parties (the employee and the employer). Any issues that concern erga omnes rights are, in principle, excluded from the employment statute. In this paper, we defend the thesis that the closest connecting factor subsists in the intellectual property regime, not in the legal regime of the employment contract agreed upon by the parties. This paper was written within the project and with the financial support of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, No. GA17-19923S, “Private International Law and Intellectual Property Rights – Law Applicable.”
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