How should ownership of a commissioned invention be determined?
When one party financially supports an invention made by another party, the ownership of the invention is typically determined by the agreement between the parties. In many cases, the agreement may grant ownership of the invention to the sponsor. If the agreement is silent on ownership, international norms dictate that the sponsor would be the rightful owner of the invention. However, in some countries, such as China, if there is no agreement, ownership of the invention belongs to the inventor. Nonetheless, like other countries, China also gives preference to any agreement between the parties as it reflects the parties' intent and mutual understanding.