/ Created by Johannes Simons

“Quick and unbureaucratic information”

PMA arbitration board provides new online database for rulings concerning the German Employee Invention Act

Düsseldorf, 05.11.2015 – The arbitration board (Schiedsstelle) established by the German Patent and Trademark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt – DPMA) according to the Employee Invention Act (Arbeitnehmererfindergesetz – ArbnErfG) has made a new online database available as of 16 October 2015. It will enable interested parties to inform themselves about settlement suggestions by the arbitration board relating to the ArbnErfG.

Time and again conflicts arise between companies and employees making inventions during the course of their employment. For these, the ArbnErfG provides the legal framework. It regulates the rights that employers have with regard to the inventions of their employees and the considerations employees can expect in return. The arbitration board tries to resolve conflicts about the amount of compensation or other disagreements over the application of the ArbnErfG. It consists of a legal member as chairman and two technically qualified patent examiners. On request they can be joined by an employer representative and an employee representative. The arbitration board hears the parties and then makes a settlement proposal. This only becomes binding if the contesting parties accept it. 

So far, the proposals and decisions of the arbitration board were only published as a collection in book form. The new online database now makes the decisions more readily available: Those interested can search for a specific year, a file number, or keyword by using the search function on the DPMA website. “The online data base now informs you quickly and in an uncomplicated manner about arbitral verdicts by the arbitration board”, says Johannes Simons, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack. “Employers and employee inventors are thus given a practical orientation in the case of impending disputes.” Decisions from the years 2012 to 2015 are currently available as PDF files. For older decisions, the arbitration board will soon provide the summarizing statements.