The National Assembly adopted amendments to the Patent Law
On 18 September 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of the Serbia adopted the Law amending the Patent Law (the “Law”), published in the Official Gazette No. 66/2019 dated 18 September, 2019, effective eight days after publishing in the Official Gazette on 26 September 2019.
The legislator amended the article defining the term employment invention and the term employee, so that an employee is a person who works under an employment agreement. Invention from employment is an invention arising out of work specified in an employment agreement, or in accordance with a special act of the employer. An invention from employment is also an invention made during a validity of employment agreement or one year after its termination, if it arose in connection with the business activities of the employer, or the use of his material means or information, or arose as a result of professional training. In addition, if there is no agreement between the employer and the employee on compensation, compensation will be determined by economic and other contributions from the exploitation of the invention, the employer’s contribution to the creation of the invention, or the individual contribution of each inventor if there is more than one inventor. The Law also amended the provisions regarding the filing of an application for an invention, detailing how and by what procedure the employer will submit an application. The provision relating to the keeping of business records has also been amended, so that both the employer and the employee are obliged to act as a business secret in connection with the invention in contact with third parties, until its registration. In accordance with the rules of business secrecy, the employee is also obliged to act when the employer expresses a justified interest in not making the invention available to the public.
The Law has been adopted to regulate the provisions on the protection and use of inventions in employment in a more efficient manner. In this way, both the rights of the employer and the rights of the employee will be better protected, given that the intellectual property that arises in the employment relationship increases the profits of the company and its entire value. The idea of the Law is that the relationship between the employer and the employee in this area is primarily regulated by the employment contract, that is, by the general act of the employer. In the event of failure to regulate the employer-employee relationship in this manner, the Law shall apply. The Law is also in line with international regulations that Serbia has acceded to in this area.