How Can I Assign My Intellectual Property?
Are you ready to transfer your ideas, inventions, or designs to someone else? Read about how you can assign your intellectual property in this guide.
Intellectual Property (IP) is the property of the mind such as ideas and inventions. There are two distinct methods to owning IP. The creator of the IP can register it with the correct patents, trademarks, design or plant breeder’s rights. The alternative process is to obtain the IP through sale or transfer of the IP rights from the current owner. This process is known as ‘assigning’ your intellectual property.
Who can own IP?
An individual, several individuals or a business can own IP rights. The creator of IP does not necessarily own these rights. Employers have ownership of employees’ IP if the property is related to the employer’s business, or the employees work for the business. This type of assignment is an invention assignment.
What is IP assignment?
Assignment of rights is when the owner of the IP sells or transfers their ownership rights to another individual, individuals or businesses (the assignee). This is different to licensing rights which is when the owner grants permission to the licensee but reserves an interest in the property. However, the owner (the assignor) fully transfers their rights and interest in the property in an assignment agreement.
IP rights are important if you’re starting or running a business because you have a contract between the owner and assignee. Due to this, the value of the businesses and individuals are protected. If you are thinking of starting a business, an Employment Agreement should contain assignment of any property ownership rights related to or created by employees under employment at your business.
What does an IP assignment agreement contain?
An assignment agreement is a contract that includes the rights and responsibilities of the assignor and assignee. This agreement includes legal obligations and a warranties clause to protect all parties involved. Payment, Goods and Services Tax (GST), warranties and indemnities are all covered by an assignment agreement. Assignment agreements have an expiry date agreed upon by the assignor and assignee. The registration date by the original owner calculates the agreement expiry date.
IP assignment involves the completion of an agreement to remove ownership rights to an assignee for sale or otherwise. As a result assignment agreements are important to protect the value of businesses for ideas created by employees during employment. Therefore, it benefits and protects an assignee to have their legal rights and responsibilities in writing for assignment of IP.
Looking to assign your IP or have IP assigned to you? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.
Jenelle is a legal Intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. She is in her third year of a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Science (Physics & Astronomy) at Macquarie University.