The team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge, Stephen Jones, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Hayleigh Bosher, Tian Lu and Cecilia Sbrolli.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

AIPPI Congress Report 2: Plenary session on inventor remuneration

Mittens fantasy of inventor remuneration -
not a likely outcome, alas!
Yesterday, Clare Cunliffe made her way to the plenary session at AIPPI's World Congress where the topical question of inventor remuneration and draft position paper was being debated.  Clare reports:
"The plenary session for patents involved a lively discussion of a draft position statement on inventor remuneration. The issue of employee inventors and the rights of employers has been an ongoing topic of interest for AIPPI members, with resolutions passed in 1967, 2004 and 2015. 
Mr John Osha, the Deputy Reporter General of AIPPI, explained that inventor remuneration was a serious and controversial issue. Given the very different approaches taken by different national and regional groups, Mr Osha explained that AIPPI was not seeking to reach a resolution in relation to inventor remuneration at the 2017 Congress. Indeed, he explained that harmonisation might not be either desirable or necessary. 
Rather, AIPPI had circulated a questionnaire and draft position statement to identify the different viewpoints of different members, and to determine those issues where there was a definite consensus between local and regional groups. The draft position statement will be used for consultation with government and non-government organisations.
The discussion bore out Mr Osha's observation that it will be difficult to reach a consensus position on this complicated issue.

The UK Group noted that the position statement did not define the term 'employee'. In light of changing employment conditions, the UK Group suggested that any position statement should incorporate a definition based on a rigorous comparative analysis.
A proposal by the French Group that all employees should be entitled to receive remuneration beyond their regular salaries and benefits was narrowly rejected, as was a proposal that the position of employee inventors in the public sector should differ from the position of employees in the private sector. 
There was widespread support for the proposition that employee inventors as inventors should be recognised on any patent application.
It was not possible to discuss the whole of the proposed statement during the course of the plenary session. One of the major unresolved issues was the circumstances under which an invention made by an employee should be deemed to be owned by the employer - for example inventions made using an employer's resources.

Another unresolved issue was the means by which employee remuneration is determined.
The committee (ably chaired by Koen Bijvank of Brinkhof), has invited interested local and regional groups to submit further comments."

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