Patents, copyrights and more

Intellectual property rights is the collective concept of law that governs the right to protection of various forms of intellectual property, i.e. values that are not tangible, for example through patents, trademarks, designs and copyrights in literary and artistic works.

The owner of an intellectual property right has an exclusive right to determine how the invention or work is used. Intellectual property rights play a crucial role in how research results can be used commercially or contribute to the development of society. In research projects and other collaborations, it is common for partners and clients to opt to acquire ownership or access rights to results. Such options must be governed by agreement that take the legal regulation of IPR into consideration. If you have any questions about how intellectual property rights should be considered in agreements, please contact the Legal Affair's Office.

Protection through registration of patents, trademarks and design

Those who develop an invention own the right to it. To protect your invention, you typically need to register a patent for the invention. A patent is an exclusive right to an invention. You may not manufacture, sell or import someone else's patented invention without permission from the owner of the patent. The patent sets the framework for what is protected, which in some cases may be part of the invention.


For an invention to be patented, the invention;

  •  is a technical solution that solves a problem in a new way,
  •  is not known anywhere in the world when the patent application is filed, and,
  •  differ significantly from previously known technology, it must not be an obvious modification of an existing solution.

This means, among other things, that if you want to apply for a patent, you cannot publish anything about your invention in a scientific article or otherwise make it known before the patent application is filed. In Sweden, the patent application is filed with the Swedish Intellectual Property Office, PRV.


Trademarks that are unique characteristics of specific goods or services as well as patterns and design can also be protected by registration with PRV. Read more about registration of patents, trademarks and design on PRV's website.


If you would like advice on how to protect your invention, you are welcome to contact the Innovation Office.

Protection through copyright

Copyright includes both factual and literary texts, artistic works, images and more. Copyright arises at the same moment the work is created without any formal procedure or registration if the work is sufficiently original. Copyright protects the form that expresses the idea but does not provide protection of the facts or ideas contained in the work.


In order to use someone else's work, you must have permission from the owner of the copyright. It is often the creator of the work, but it can also be someone else, such as a publisher who acquired the financial copyright when you publish an article. Copyright also means that the user of a work has an obligation to name both the creator and the potential holder of the economic rights, such as a publisher where an article has been published.


The University has signed a licensing agreement that grants certain rights to copy and share copyrighted material used in teaching. Learn more about the licensing agreement (availiable in Swedish only).

The teacher's exemption

The right to an invention or work belongs to the creator or creators of the invention or work. The Act (1949:345) on the right to employee inventions contains rules on patentable inventions made by an employee in the course of their duties. If an invention is created as a result of an employee fulfilling his or her duties or special obligations within their employment, the law typically entitles the employer to acquire the employee's invention. Teachers employed at Swedish higher education institutions are exempted from this act, this is commonly referred to as the teacher's exemption. This means that patentable inventions made by teachers in the course of their duties are not covered by the employer's right to acquire the invention.


The University has, within its field of activity and for its normal activities, the right to utilize employees' inventions and results which arise as a result of duties and specific obligations towards the employer, in Swedish this is called "tumregeln".


When the University enters into collaboration or assignment agreements, the University, in accordance with SUHF's principles for intellectual property management in research agreements, REK 2016:3, retains itself and its researchers a continued free right to use research results in education and academic research.

Contact information

Contact the Legal Affairs Office on 
universitetsjurist@umu.se

Data protetion officers, questions regarding personal data management

pulo@umu.se

Legal Affair's Office
5/25/2023