Report an invention

Report an invention

If you have produced an invention in connection with your employment at Aarhus University or Central Denmark Region, you are required to report it to team Commercialisation and IP.

To report an invention, fill out the form below and send a signed copy to or

If you want to know more about inventions, patenting and technology transfer, we recommend that you read the guide below or contact one of our business developers.

Questions & support

Contact the team Commercialisation and IP.

Email: or

Why do you have to report inventions and software?

According to the Danish act on inventions, all employees of public research institutions are required to report inventions produced in connection with their work, because as a general rule, the employing institution owns the rights to employees’ inventions. According to the act, an employer must apply to have the invention commercialised if the employer wishes to exercise its right to the invention. Read more about the Act on Inventions here.

On top of the beforementioned, a new invention can open a range of opportunities for you as a researcher. When you disclose your invention it raises the chances of your research benefitting the rest of society. In other cases it can even up for the opportunity to establish a new company - a so called spin out. In a spin out, you as a researcher can be a part of the full development process towards a final product.

What is the difference between inventions and software?


Inventions are technological innovations with industrial applications which are eligible for patents under the Danish Patent Act or which are eligible for registration as utility models under the Danish Utility Models Act.  Three conditions must be fulfilled for patentability: the invention must be new, it must fulfil the inventive step requirement, and it must have industrial applications.

As an employee of AU/the region, you are required to report a potential invention. The potential invention is then subjected to a patentability analysis to assess whether it fulfils the conditions for patents or utility model status.

Inventions produced at public research institutions are regulated by the Act on Inventions, which was first adopted in 1999.

Read more about the Act on Inventions

Software is defined as instructions or information which enable a processor to perform specific actions, regardless of whether these instructions exist in machine-readable digital format (object code) or in written form on paper (source code). Examples of software include all products which are traditionally regarded as computer programs/software, in addition to products such as apps for smart phones and tables. Preparatory design material is also be considered software if the material are so concrete in character that it would be possible to write source code on the basis of the description without further significant preparation/creative efforts.

As an employee of AU/the region, you have a duty to report software and preparatory design material.

In Europe, pure software cannot be patented. To be eligible for patent, software must provide a technical contribution to a technical problem. In other words, it must be attached to an apparatus or device. In such cases, the effects of the software are protected by patent, not the code. However, software is protected by the Danish Copyright Act. Software produced in the context of an employment relationship is regulated by section 59 of the Danish Copyright Act.

Read more about the Danish Copyright Act here (in Danish)

When are you considered an inventor?

A person who has made an intellectual contribution to the development of an invention is considered an inventor.

For this reason, only persons who have made a genuine intellectual contribution to a (potential) invention should be listed on the reporting form. This requirement is particularly important in relation to the final patent application. Listing non-contributing persons as inventors out of courtesy can have serious negative consequences. In the worst case, the patent may be declared invalid.

Inventor contributions must be expressed in percentages. This information is used to determine AU’s/AUH’s share of any inventions produced in collaboration with external partners, in addition to the calculation of the share of remuneration due to each party in the event that the invention is exploited commercially.

When you report an invention, we can assist you in determining who to list as inventors if necessary.

If you are in doubt whether a particular contributor should be listed as an inventor, read more here.