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Patents, copyright, publication and reproduction

Here you can learn more about copyrights, information about what to consider when publishing, and what rules apply for reproducing (copying).

Click through the links below to read more about the various areas. The links open in the same window.


A person who has invented something can apply for, and be awarded, a patent with exclusive rights to use the invention professionally. This applies pursuant to the Swedish Patents Act (1967:837), which you can find on the website of the Swedish parliament, (opens in the same window).

When an employee makes a patentable invention in the context of their work, the employer may be entitled to take over or use the invention in certain situations. This does not apply to teaching staff at higher education institutions, pursuant to the Right to Inventions of Employees Act (1949:345) which can be found on the website of the Swedish parliament, (opens in the same window).

At Lund University, the vice-chancellor has taken a decision on Guidance for managing intellectual property rights (PDF 171 kB, opens in new window). This guidance clarifies the University’s right to use patentable inventions that employees make in the context of their work.

In brief, the decision states the following. (Read the full text of the decision for a complete picture.)

  • Teaching staff have exclusive rights to patentable inventions made in the context of their employment. This is known as the “teaching staff exemption” and means that the teaching staff members themselves determine how the invention is to be used. At Lund University, the teaching staff exemption is also applied to other employee categories who have research as their main work duty, or who contribute to the emergence of inventions as co-inventors. They may be researchers, doctoral students or others.
  • However, if an employee chooses to use their invention in the context of their employment at the University, this simultaneously entails the right for the University to use the invention for the organisation’s own purpose and needs. No further compensation, besides the employee’s regular salary, will be paid.
  • Similarly, the University is entitled to use an invention made by an employee within the framework of a particular assigned task orpursuant to specific instructions, or an invention made for use in the University’s own activities.
  • When employees who are not covered by the teaching staff exemption make an invention in the context of their employment, they are to contact their line manager who will determine how the invention is to be managed, pursuant to the Right to Inventions of Employees Act.

Please contact the Legal Division if you have any questions.


If you write a book or an article, for instance, you are the author of that literary work, and you own the copyright to that work. The copyright will always initially be assigned to a physical person, an author, and means that they have the exclusive right to control the use of that work. You can read more in the Swedish Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (1960:729) by clicking on this link (opens in the same window) (in Swedish) on the Swedish Parliament's website.

However, the author must accept certain limitations to their exclusive rights. This applies, for example, to the right of others to cite or refer to a text. Employees at Lund University must comply with the Vice-Chancellor's decision General recommendations on Lund University's right to use copyrighted material which you can read by clicking on this link (PDF, 50 kB, new window). This document clarifies the University's right to use material produced by its employees at work. When using copyrighted material, you must respect the limitations described above and show consideration for the author.

The fact that Lund University has changed over to remote teaching has placed great demands on the different faculties. This none the least by the need to adapt and create teaching material to use on platforms for online teaching and other digital tools. In this situation the same as has been mentioned above still applies when it comes to the university’s right to use copyrighted material. You can read more about this in the short memo Who has the right to teaching material when it comes to remote teaching? Please click on the link below to reach the memo.  Who has the right to teaching material when it comes to remote teaching? (PDF 122 kB, new window).

Copyright can then be transferred to someone else, even legal entities, such as companies, foundations and associations.

For more information click on these links below: 
A brief overview of copyright and copyright agreements (PDF 33 kB, new window) (In Swedish)
Frequently asked questions about copyright (PDF, 207 kB, new window)

Please contact the Legal Division if you have any questions. 

Right to reproduce

Free copying

Regulations, public authority decisions, statements made by Swedish public authorities and official translations of such works are not protected by copyright and can therefore be copied freely.

For teaching purposes

The general rule is that you may not use a work without the author’s permission. This is so except in the case of copying for private use or other special circumstance regulated by law. Consequently, you may not copy books or other items for use at your workplace. This applies at the University as well.

A lot of copying is however often needed, especially within teaching. Therefore, there is a special agreement (the copying agreement) between the University and the organisation Bonus Copyright Access (formerly Bonus Presskopia). The agreement entered into force on 1 January 2014 and contains a number of new items since previous agreement. Among others, the agreement covers both students and teaching staff, and it provides further opportunities for copying and sharing materials digitally for teaching purposes.

Teaching staff and students may copy and share both Swedish and internationally published works. But the agreement does not give the right to copy (download, record, et cetera) moving images and recorded works.

If the University needs to copy or share copyrighted material beyond what is allowed under the agreement, it must apply for permission from the person who owns the copyright to the material.

For more detailed information on the agreement and its conditions, please click on this link to reach Bonus Copyright Access' website - Copy and Share Protected Material within Higher Education Institutions (opens in the same window). There you will find the following relevant documents:

  • General terms and conditions for reproduction and making available at higher education institutions, effective from 2014 (HEI Agreement)
  • Guide to reproduction at higher education institutions
  • Quick reference guide HIE


For questions about patents, copyrights, publication and reproduction, contact:

Sara Lindgren (Faculty of Medicine - Clinical Sciences in Malmö and Lund, Health Sciences; Max IV)
Legal counsel 
sara [dot] lindgren [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se (sara[dot]lindgren[at]legal[dot]lu[dot]se)
+46 46 222 76 52

Carl Petersson (Faculty of Medicine - EMV, ITM, ILM; Faculty of Engineering - Building and Environmental Technology, Chemistry and Physics only and ER)
Legal counsel 
carl [dot] petersson [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se (carl[dot]petersson[at]legal[dot]lu[dot]se)  
+46 46 222 76 41

Hanna Stam (Faculty of Engineering - excluding Building and Environmental Technology, Chemistry and Physics)
Legal counsel 
hanna [dot] stam [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se (hanna[dot]stam[at]legal[dot]lu[dot]se)
+46 46 222 71 41

Sanna Weber (Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculties of Humanities and Theology, School of Economics and Management, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, University specialised centres, LUCE)
Legal counsel
christian [dot] larenas [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se (sanna[dot]weber[at]legal[dot]lu[dot]se)  
+46 46 222 08 10

Nils Renström (University Administration)
Legal counsel
nils [dot] renstrom [at] legal [dot] lu [dot] se (nils[dot]renstrom[at]legal[dot]lu[dot]se) 
+46 46 222 04 26