Generally speaking, intellectual property rights (inventions, topographies of semiconductor products, industrial designs, copyright works and computer programs) created by employees within the scope of their employment relationship in principle belong to the employer.
In particular, Law 24/2015 on Patents sets forth that inventions made by an employee during the term of his contract, work or service with a company, and which are the result of research that is explicitly or implicitly the object of his contract, shall belong to the employer. The employee will have the right to an additional remuneration in case that his personal contribution to the invention and the relevance for the company exceeds the scope of the tasks regulated in his employment agreement. Furthermore, the employee shall have the right to a reasonable remuneration in relation to the use of the technical improvements developed by the employee which offer a competitive advantage to the employer.
If inventions do not fulfill the aforementioned conditions, they shall belong to the employee who is the author. Nonetheless, if the employee makes an invention "related" to his professional activity and the knowledge gained within the company has had a decisive influence thereon or he has used means provided by the company, the employer shall have the right to claim ownership of the invention or to reserve a right to its use. The employee has a month to give the communication to the employer, who will have three (3) months to exercise its rights. In the event that the employer does not communicate to the employee its willingness to assume the ownership of the invention within the aforementioned three months period, its rights shall expire, enabling the employee to proceed to the solicitation of the patent for itself. If the employer, having communicated the employee its willingness to assume the ownership of the invention, does not claim in front of the authorities, within a reasonable and pre-agreed term, the industrial property rights, the employee shall claim those on behalf of the employer.
In the event that the employer assumes the ownership of the invention or reserves a right to its use, the employee shall have the rights to a fair (economic) compensation/remuneration proportional to the industrial and commercial importance of the invention as well as considering the value of the resources or know-how given by the employer and the contributions made by the employee. The aforementioned remuneration may consist of a share on the profits made by the employer from the exploitation of the rights over the invention.
Regarding copyright works, according to the Legislative Royal Decree 1/1996 on Intellectual Property, the transfer of the exploitation rights of a work created by virtue of employment relations to the employer is governed by the terms agreed upon in the contract in writing. In the absence of such an agreement in writing, it is presumed that the exploitation rights have been granted exclusively and with the scope necessary for exercising the usual activity of the employer (at the time the work is delivered). Similarly, where a computer program is created by an employee in the course of his duties or following instructions given by his employer, the ownership of the exploitation rights on the computer program created, including both the source program and the object program, belong exclusively to the employer, unless otherwise agreed in writing.