Career & Legal Advice

Copyright and patent rights for the self-employed

If you are self-employed, you may have designed unique programs or solutions that you want to protect. The general principle of Danish copyright and patent law is that the creator of a piece of work has the right to exploit, sell or make copies of the product.

If you're self-employed and you succeed in developing or inventing a new program or an innovative solution to a problem, you can protect your product or solution through copyright or patent rights.

You should note in particular whether there are any conditions in your contract under which all intellectual property rights associated with your work are transferred to the customer, or stating that the customer is entitled to develop or sell these rights.
If the contract does not specify your right to compensation for inventions, intellectual property rights, computer programs, etc., making a subsequent claim can be extremely difficult.

In particular, note that if you take on an assignment for a customer and you supply a specially developed business concept, invention, design, system, prototype etc., there is a risk that this will be considered the customer's property.

In this case, when your engagement with the customer ends, you will lose the right to the work you have provided. It is recommended that, before signing a contract, you take a closer look at your rights.

  • For more information on how to take out a patent or register a design or a trademark, go to the Danish Patent and Trademark Office website. The website contains guidance on how to file a patent or a utility model and how to register a trademark or design.
  • The website is a kind of market place for creativity and new ideas. Furthermore, the website provides specific guidance on copyright, patent rights and support schemes.
  • UBVA, the Committee for the Protection of Scientific and Scholarly Work, publishes a number of freely downloadable publications, articles and other materials about copyright. Furthermore, UBVA organises courses free of charge, and provides assistance and advice in cases concerning intellectual property rights and copyright. Contact UBVA here.

Get patent advice from AWA through IDA

AWA offers IDA's members an IP Audit - i.e. review of the company's products, services and any rights with a view to drawing up a plan for optimized protection of the company's assets.