Transfer of Rights Contract: Everything You Need to Know

A transfer of rights contract allows you to transfer your contractual rights and responsibilities to another party. 3 min read

A transfer of rights contract allows you to transfer your contractual rights and responsibilities to another party. Transferring contract rights can happen either through assignment or delegation.

Assigning Contractual Rights

If you want to transfer your contractual rights to another person, you will need to make an assignment. On the other hand, if you're only interested in transferring your contractual duties but not your rights, you would use a delegation. After an assignment takes place, full contractual rights will be transferred to the assignee. These will be the exact same rights as enjoyed by the original contracted party.

If the contractual rights being transferred aren't personal, then the party assigning their rights does not need to obtain permission from the other contracted party. Permission is a requirement if the assignment involves personal services.

There are certain circumstances when assignment is not possible:

  • The contract prohibits assignment.
  • Assignment is illegal or violates public policy.
  • The assignment get rejected by a court.

Delegating Contractual Obligations

Delegation is much different than assignment. With a delegation, you are transferring the obligation of performance to another party. Basically, this means that another person is performing your contractual duties but you are still legally responsible for the contract. For instance, if you delegated a contractual payment, and that payment is not made, the other party in the contract can hold you liable for the missed payment.

Certain contractual obligations are not eligible for delegation. If completion of the contract requires special knowledge, skills, or talents, delegation is not allowed.

Making an Assignment

If you want to assign your contractual rights to another party, you can do so in writing or verbally depending on the laws in your state. Either way, you should give the other party in the contract notice that you are making an assignment. Once notice is sent, the other party can perform their contractual duties on your behalf.

After receipt of the notice, the other party should fulfill their responsibilities to the assignee instead.

Transferring Copyrights

A tricky situation when it comes to transferring contract rights is who has the ability to transfer a copyright . The basic rule is that the person that holds the copyright owns exclusive rights to the work covered by the copyright. This means that only the copyright holder may license the creative work. The only exception to this rule is when the person that created the copyrighted work did so in a work-for-hire situation. In this case, the organization that hired the creator would own the copyrights.

Copyrights are like other types of property in that the owner of the copyright can transfer these rights to owner person. Copyrights are transferrable in whole or in part. For example, if you are a photographer, copyright law would apply whether or not you were paid for your services.

If someone else copies, sells, or uses your copyrighted photograph without your permission, they have violated your copyright, which is illegal and may result in both criminal and civil penalties. Even if someone buys a copy of your photograph, this doesn't mean that you have transferred ownership of your copyright. The buyer would not have the right to reproduce your photograph or publish the image.

As a copyright holder, you have the ability to license your copyright or to transfer it to another person. You could grant a company a license to reproduce your photo, for example. Copyright owners can transfer exclusive rights to their property to another person. If you want to transfer exclusive rights to a copyright, you must do so in writing. Otherwise, the transfer would not be valid. This written transfer should include the copyright owner's signature.

You do not need a written agreement when transferring non-exclusive rights to your copyright. If a copyright holder dies, ownership of the copyright can be transferred through a will or by the laws of succession.

Because a copyright is a type of personal property, state regulations and laws apply to copyright ownership. These laws also apply to transferring copyrights and inheritance of these property rights. If you have questions about which laws apply to transferring copyrights in your state, you should consult an attorney.

If you need help with a transfer of rights contract, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

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Content Approved by UpCounsel

  • Transfer and Assignment
  • Contract Copyright
  • Delegation vs Assignment
  • Copyrights - How to Obtain a Copyright
  • Assignment Legal Definition
  • Legal Assignment
  • Assignment Law
  • How to Copyright Your Work: Four Essential Steps
  • What Is the Difference Between Assignment and Delegation?
  • How to Copyright

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Transfer of right agreement

FROM 450 € tax.excl

If you have hired a service provider to create the source code for your software, or to create the drawings for your prototype, or any other creation that falls under copyright, you need a transfer of rights agreement!

transfer of rights for

What is a tranfer of rights agreement ?

The transfer of rights agreement is a contract by which the transfer of ownership of an immaterial good and the rights attached to it takes place. It is similar to a sales contract. Often used for intellectual property rights, it can be adapted to industrial property rights (patents, trademarks, designs and models) as well as to copyright (artistic creations, software).

The transfer of rights agreement entails the full transfer of ownership of the intangible property and must therefore meet a number of conditions. It must be written .

Depending on whether it is a patent assignment or a copyright assignment, the important clauses of the contract may differ.

transfer of rights for

This contract must therefore be very well drafted for an effective protection of the parties, hence the interest to call upon a professional.

How to assign a patent .

For a patent assignment, you should pay attention to a few important points:

  • The rights transferred (the right to exploit the invention, the right to extend the title internationally or the prerogatives to defend the title (in case of infringement action for example))
  • The guarantee against eviction by the assignor and by third parties (the assignor (the seller) assures the assignee (the buyer) that he is the exclusive owner of the invention and that this assignment will not harm persons outside the contract)
  • The fixing of the price : the transfer of rights being a sale, it can be made in return for a price, it is then onerous. The price fixation generally takes into account the expenses made by the assignor for the life of his invention (application for patent registration, exploitation…). It can also be free of charge or for a symbolic sum of one euro, which is generally the case when the assignor transfers the invention to his company.

It should be noted that the assignment can only be made for an already existing invention, thus the assignment of a future invention is forbidden.

If the existence of the invention is mandatory, the existence of the patent is not, since an unpatented invention or an invention for which a patent application has been filed for less than one year is possible. This case requires clarification.

In addition to the above-mentioned rights, it will also be necessary to add the assignment of the priority right. If your assignment contract is concluded with a foreign co-contractor and concerns this type of invention, the assignment of this priority right must be mentioned.

transfer of rights for

The case of the transfer of artworks : moral and economic rights

Concerning the transfer of copyright agreement, the content of the contract will be different.

Copyright is divided into two types of rights: economic rights (right of representation and reproduction of the work) and moral rights (right of disclosure, right of paternity, right to respect the integrity of the work and right to withdraw the work).

For a copyright assignment, only the economic rights can be assigned. The moral rights cannot be the object of this contract, it remains the property of the author.

The contract of transfer of copyright must include certain obligatory mentions under penalty of being cancelled:

  • The economic rights assigned clearly in a separate mention (the right of reproduction, representation, adaptation, translation etc.);
  • The duration of the transfer of rights (in practice the duration is that of copyright, i.e. the whole life of the author and 70 years post mortem);
  • The extent of distribution of the assigned rights (such as the number of products produced, or the use of the rights on a media for example);
  • The destination of these rights (if the work is an artistic creation or ab applied art creation for example);
  • The distribution territory (for which countries in particular or for the whole world);
  • The method of calculating the remuneration of the author assigning his rights (whether it will be a proportional or lump sum remuneration)

A transfer of rights agreement must therefore be very well drafted for an effective protection of the parties, hence the interest to call upon a professional. Our team will listen to your needs and accompany you in the transfer of your invention or your work of the mind.

Transfer of Rights definition

Examples of transfer of rights in a sentence.

Transfer of rights under a negotiable electronic cargo recordWhen a negotiable electronic cargo record is issued, its holder may transfer the rights incorporated in it, whether it be made out to order or to the order of a named person,91 by transferring the exclusive control of the electronic cargo record.

More Definitions of Transfer of Rights

Rights Transfer Agreement

Jump to section, need help with a rights transfer agreement, what is a rights transfer agreement.

A rights transfer agreement, also known as an assignment agreement, is a legal document that transfers the ownership of certain intellectual property rights from one party to another. The agreement can be used for a variety of reasons, such as to sell or license intellectual property assets, or to assign copyrights or trademarks. It's important to understand the terms and conditions of a rights transfer agreement before signing it, so you know exactly what you're getting into.

Common Sections in Rights Transfer Agreements

Below is a list of common sections included in Rights Transfer Agreements. These sections are linked to the below sample agreement for you to explore.

Rights Transfer Agreement Sample

Reference : Security Exchange Commission - Edgar Database, EX-4.2 3 dex42.htm RIGHTS AGREEMENT , Viewed April 22, 2022, View Source on SEC .

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Christian Davila received his Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University and becoming a member of the State Bar of Texas in 2013. Before law school, he studied at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), and participated in multiple programs across various fields of study, including the University of Texas Medical Branch-School of Medicine’s “Early Medical School Acceptance Program,” and the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities’ “National Internship Program” at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Christian’s legal experience includes criminal law (both prosecution and defense), family law, transactional law, business litigation, real estate litigation, and general civil litigation. Christian was previously in-house counsel for a multi-million dollar apartment construction and management company, handling all property acquisition, document drafting, negotiations, and litigation. Christian is a former member of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), and he has been distinguished by the National Trial Lawyers as one of their TOP 40 Civil Plaintiff attorneys in Texas UNDER 40 years old. He likes weightlifting, reading comicbooks, and being silly with his kids in his spare time.

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5.11 How to register transfers, changes of name, licences and other rights

5.11.1 transfer of rights .

5.11.001 A European patent application or patent may be assigned as a whole or in part for one or more of the designated contracting states. 

Art. 71 - 72 , 74 R. 22 , 85

5.11.002 On request, the EPO will register the transfer of rights in respect of a pending European patent application in the European Patent Register, upon fulfilment of certain requirements. The transfer of a European patent can only be registered during the opposition period or as long as opposition proceedings are pending before the EPO. 

R. 143(1)(w) GL E‑XIV, 3 , 4 R. 22 R. 85

5.11.003 In order for a transfer of rights to be entered in the European Patent Register, the following requirements have to be met: 

(a)  Filing of a request for registration of a transfer of rights in respect of one or more European patent applications or patents. For this purpose, you can use EPO Form 5050, which is available on the EPO website ( ).

(b)  Payment of the corresponding administrative fee for each European patent application or patent concerned. The request is not deemed to have been filed until this fee has been paid. The amount of the fee is determined by the latest schedule of fees and expenses of the EPO. 

(c)  Filing of documents providing evidence of the transfer. 

5.11.004 Any kind of written evidence suitable for proving the transfer is admissible. This includes formal documentary proof such as the instrument of transfer itself (the original or a copy thereof) or other official documents or extracts from them, provided that they immediately verify the transfer. The signatures of the parties to the contract must appear on the documents submitted as evidence. Where the request is filed electronically with the EPO (see point 4.3.001 ), the assignment document may, instead of handwritten signatures, bear qualified electronic signatures as defined in the Notice from the EPO dated 22 October 2021. Where the original document is not in one of the EPO's three official languages, the EPO may require a certified translation in one of those languages. A declaration signed by the parties to the contract verifying the transfer is also sufficient, e.g. EPO Form 5055, which is available on the EPO website ( ).

Art. 72 GL E‑XIV, 3 R. 5 OJ EPO 2021, A86

5.11.005 Where a document is signed on behalf of a legal person, only such persons as are entitled to sign by law, by the legal person's articles of association or equivalent or by a special mandate may do so. National law applies in that respect. 


5.11.006 If the evidence is found to be unsatisfactory, the EPO will inform the party requesting the transfer accordingly and invite it to remedy the stated deficiencies. If the request complies with the requirements of Rule 22 , the transfer will be registered with effect from the date on which the request, the supporting evidence or the fee was received at the EPO, whichever is the latest. In case of a minor deficiency, i.e. if all requirements were complied with but not to the full extent required (e.g. the request was signed but the name and/or position of the person signing were missing), the date of receipt of the original request for registration will be considered the effective date once the deficiency has been rectified.

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The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law

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15 15 Transfer of Rights and Obligations

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This chapter compares the law on transfer of rights (i.e., assignment) in the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), English law, and German law. It first considers cases in which the three systems produce similar results before concentrating on situations in which the results and the interactions with other areas of law differ. It then deals with the transfer of obligations. In their basic aspects, the laws of England, Germany, and the DCFR provide for functionally similar systems of assignment, but there are some differences in the mechanisms involved. Should the current provisions of the DCFR on assignment be included in a later version of an optional instrument, there will be a number of interactions with both English and German law in the sense that it will matter which system governs the agreements, particularly the agreement for assignment. Key differences include, inter alia, the proprietary aspects of the assignor's insolvency where the assignor is paid by the debtor, the priority rule for competing assignments, and the effects of a non-assignment clause.

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