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Luz Sánchez García

The legal system that encumbers university inventions generally presents itself as a contentious issue which is scarcely looked into by either academics or case law. One of the questions most argued about consists of determining who, in fact does the invention developed at the university belong to. In the absence of a European rule this chapter uses a comparative law approach to analyse the issues. It takes into account those legal regimes that assume ‘institutional ownership’ where ownership is attributed to the university, and those which opt for individual ownership – ‘professor’s privilege’ – where the inventions are recognised as property of university professors. The chapter recommends that European guidelines would lead to better outcomes for both universities and researchers.