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In Germany, employers who come up with a technical invention are held to report this fact immediately to their employer in writing. After that, the employer has four months in which to decide and state whether he or she will use the employee invention fully or partially, or whether it will be released. If the employer fails to claim exploitation, the employee invention attains a free status. In which case it belongs exclusively to the inventor, who is at liberty to exploit it.
If the employer utilizes the invention without limitations, all rights to the invention, particularly those of economic utilization, will transfer to the employer. The employer is then under the obligation to file a patent or utility model registration.
Nonetheless, the inventor is entitled to an appropriate remuneration; the calculation of the remuneration due for the marketing of an invention to which the employee inventor is entitled has been regulated in the form of remuneration guidelines.