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Joint Intellectual Property (IP) Ownership: Frequently Asked Questions

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When parties work together on creative projects or R&D, complicated questions about IP ownership arise. If parties have worked and are unable to separate the results of their efforts, joint ownership of intellectual property may appear to be a simple and equitable solution.

Legal risks, practical challenges, and barriers to full commercialization arise when parties fail to thoroughly consider how their jointly generated intellectual property will be held, organized, and used without seeking help from the property lawyers in Dubai. Rather than relying on the default legal status, parties should enter into an affirmative agreement creating joint ownership of intellectual property in the vast majority of cases.

How is it possible to have joint Intellectual Property ownership?

There are two types of co-ownership of intellectual property:

1. Regardless of whether the parties were co-authors, co-inventors, or co-creators, an agreement may specify that they will jointly own intellectual property.

2. The parties can work together to create intellectual property, in which case they are known as joint authors, joint inventors, or joint creators.

In a joint ownership agreement, what topics should be addressed?

Occasionally, parties will agree to share intellectual property rights but leave their joint ownership arrangement unregulated.

If shared ownership is to be agreed upon, the following three points must be addressed:

1. Is it conceivable for a joint owner of intellectual property to profit from it?

2. Is it possible for a joint owner to grant another person a license to the jointly owned intellectual property?

3. Can a joint owner transfer his or her share of jointly held intellectual property to another person only with the approval of the other joint owner or without it?

If no agreement is reached, the joint owners will be subject to the complex and possibly conflicting laws that regulate joint ownership. As a result, it’s always a good idea to address the three points above in your agreement so that jointly owned intellectual property is governed in the way that the joint owners agree through the assistance of property lawyers in Dubai. Rather than the law’s frequently unpredictable and unfavorable treatment of the jointly owned intellectual property.

Ownership percentage

Another issue that should be carefully addressed in a contract is the ownership proportions owned by joint owners. It is considered that the parties are equal joint owners if they do not specify a joint ownership percentage.

Joint owners do not always seek to be equal partners. When one individual contributes more than the other (in terms of money, resources, or imaginative ideas). An unequal ownership percentage may result. To avoid the assumption that the joint ownership share is equal, it is necessary to clarify the joint ownership share or how it would be calculated.

What are the ramifications of co-owning a patent?

Unless the joint owners of a patent agree otherwise, the law provides that each joint owner owns an equal share of the innovation and is free to utilize it for his or her gain. One owner, however, cannot grant a license or sell any interest in the patent without the consent of the other.

“Without prejudice to the provisions governing each heir’s inheritance share, if two people acquire one or more objects for any reason other than ownership without determining the share for each of them, they shall be co-owners and the shares shall be divided equally between them unless evidence to the contrary exists,” says Article 1152 of the UAE Civil Transactions Act.

The work is referred to as a “joint work” when two or more authors collaborate to merge their contributions into inseparable or interdependent elements, and the authors are considered joint copyright owners. When two or more writers collaborate on a book or essay, this is the most common type of collaborative work.

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the author of the literary or musical component of the work has the right to publish his share in a manner different from how the joint work was published, according to Article 27 of Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights.

What are the ramifications of trademark ownership in joint works?

Yes, it is feasible to trademark a co-owned product. A trademark can be owned by several people. If they aim to obtain joint ownership, two or more people can register for the Trademark together. In a shared ownership arrangement, both persons and organizations use the Trademark together, but neither is the sole owner. Both parties’ names should be on the trademark registration. All the documentation is done with the help of a property lawyer in Dubai.

Joint applicants for trademark registration are permitted in the UAE if all applicants sign a Power of Dubai Lawyers. That is notarized and legalized up to the UAE Consulate. In the case of joint ventures, however, it is important to consider who owns the trademark that the joint venture will use. One of the partners may own the trademark that will be used. The partners should expressly agree on who will have the Trademark or who will jointly own it. The Joint Venture Agreement should spell out each party’s rights as well as what will happen to the Trademark if the joint venture fails.

It’s a good idea to form co-ownership agreements to spell out the terms and conditions that govern the joint owners’ relationship when it comes to trademark usage and enforcement. The goal of this article is to give a broad overview of the topic. Startups should evaluate the types of intellectual property that may impact their business and consider patents, trademarks, and copyright protection strategically. As a startup, your intellectual property (IP) may be your most valuable asset.

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