Employee Invention Committee

The Employee Invention Committee is a statutory committee, the task of which is to issue opinions on matters concerning the application of the Act on the Right in Employee Inventions (656/1967) and the Act on the Right in Inventions made at Higher Education Institutions (369/2006).

The committee functions as an independent body under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. For details of the committee’s composition, documents and earlier opinions, visit the committee’s project site.

The opinions are free of charge for the applicant

The employer or an employee may request an opinion from the committee. The opinion may also be requested by a court considering a dispute concerning an invention or the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, when it is considering a patent application. The opinions are free of charge for the applicant.

The request for an opinion must be submitted in writing. The request for an opinion and the appendices to it must be submitted to the committee in two (2) original copies. The committee is responsible for supplying the opposite party with the necessary documents.

The following documents should be appended to the request for an opinion:

  • the patent application concerning the invention and the letters patent
  • inventors’ employment contracts
  • notification to the employer made by the inventors in accordance with section 5 of Act on the Right in Employee Inventions
  • notification sent by the employer to the inventors in accordance with section 6 of the Act on the Right in Employee Inventions under which the employer is claiming rights to the invention
  • the agreement on the transfer of the rights to the invention to the employer and details of the employer’s operational sector and the grounds for the compensation paid (if possible)
  • applicant’s account of the situation

The documents appended to the request for the opinion should be numbered and they must also be mentioned in the appropriate section of the request form. The space available on the form is limited. If for example there is more than one inventor and there is not enough space on the form to list all of them, the applicant must also detail, on a separate appendix, the matters that are not listed on the form.

The secretary of the committee will provide advice on matters concerning the preparation and processing of the request.

The opinions are considered as recommendations

As a rule, the committee considers all matters in writing. However, an oral hearing may be arranged if the committee considers this necessary. The opposite party will be provided with an opportunity to give a written reply on account of the request for an opinion. The committee may request the parties concerned to provide further information if this is considered necessary. The committee also has the right to obtain from the employer and the companies belonging to the same group as the employer and the employee concerned the information that is considered necessary for issuing an opinion.

The committee publishes all its opinions unless this is wholly or partially in violation of the secrecy obligation laid down in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The opinions are published in the patents publication of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and on the committee’s project site. When the opinion is issued, the parties concerned are provided with an opportunity to give their views of the publishing of the opinion.

The committee’s operations and the opinions that it issues are subject to the general secrecy obligation laid down in the Act on the Right in Employee Inventions. The committee’s opinions are published without disclosing the names of the parties concerned and in such a manner that business or professional secrets are not compromised. If the patent application concerning the invention is pending, the opinion will only be published when the documents are public under the Patents Act.

The opinions issued by the committee are considered as recommendations. They are not binding on the party requesting the opinion or the opposite party. A party to the case must, however, notify the committee whether it intends to comply with the opinion. The notification must be submitted within two (2) months of the end of the month in which the party concerned receives its copy of the opinion.

 
Contact information:

Employee Invention Committee
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
P.O. Box 32
FI-00023 GOVERNMENT, Finland
paivi.lahtinen(at)tem.fi