Rights and Obligations

Rights andObligations

The Act on Inventions at Public Research Institutions (Act No. 347 of June 2, 1999) went into effect on June 1, 1999 and applies to inventions originating after January 1, 2000. The law means that university of Ruhuna as an employer now has the right to acquire all rights to that which the employee has invented in relation to his/her work.
All academic staff and teachers, including PhD fellows and technical-administrative staff, regardless of whether the employee is full time or part-time, are included in the obligation to report stated in the Act.
Although the employment relationship with the university has ended, university of Ruhuna can claim the right to an invention if it was generated in relation to the employment at university of Ruhuna. It is incumbent on university of Ruhuna as an employer to prove that the invention occurred as part of the employment.
All employees (including those externally funded) are considered to be university employees if they have a letter of appointment from university of Ruhuna and thus they are included in the Act.
It is very difficult in practice to determine whether something was invented in or outside the employment relationship. If the invention is related to the university employee's professional field, rather widely understood, the invention is considered to have been made in relation to work. However, if something is invented in a completely different field, it is considered the researcher's own private invention.
If a researcher invents something through a side job in his/her field, it is subject to the Act. Accordingly, the invention must be reported to the university. If it is desired that it be stated in the employment contract that an invention from a side job belongs to the company, this requirement must first be approved by the university.
Employees at university of Ruhuna cannot enter into cooperation agreements with companies on their own. Cooperation agreements are drawn up by the Grants & Contracts at university of Ruhuna.
Once you have reported your invention to the university, it is fixed practice that prospective publication is agreed on with the Technology Transfer Office in order not to damage the commercialization opportunities. Untimely publication will destroy the possibilities for patenting inventions.
If the Technology Transfer Office deems that the university should acquire the rights to the invention, the university is obligated to pay all patent costs, etc., itself. If the university does not wish to acquire the rights to the invention, the inventor is free to initiate the commercialization process. Inventors must however pay all expenses in this connection.