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Intellectual Property Rights of academic staff

At Swedish universities, the so-called “Teacher’s Exemption” for academic staff applies to all research at the Uni­versity.

This rule is derived from in Act (1949:345) on the Rights to Employee Inventions. The Teacher’s Exemption law prevents universities in Sweden from obtaining the Intellectual Proper­ty Rights of employed researchers and inventors who generate Intellectual Property as part of their employem­ent at the University. It is stated as an exemption because private companies typically maintain the intellectual prop­erty rights of their employees.

By custom, the “Teacher’s Exemp­tion” for academic staff has come to encompass more than inventions, and KTH applies the Exemption broadly. In practice, this means that a research­er employed at a university, owns the IP rights to their work results unless otherwise agreed.

The above means that the Univer­sity, in cases where results need to be made available to a collaborative party, must reach a separate agreement with the researcher to grant licenses that enable the collaborative research pro­ject to be performed. For the transfer of results for commercial exploitation, the collaborative party will need to enter into a separate agreement with the researcher who owns the IP.