Right holder

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In jurisprudence , a right holder (or "right holder") is a legal entity who is the holder of a right .


The holders of rights are their owners and therefore have full control over these rights. However, you are not referred to as the owner, but as the right holder, because the concept of owner is limited to physical things . Since laws also use the term ( e.g. Section 95a UrhG ), it is also a legal term . According to this, the right holders are the legal subjects entitled to copyright who have active legitimacy under procedural law . The right holders are legal subjects, i.e. in particular natural persons and legal entities . The rights themselves are legal objects , and only their sub-area of ​​the intellectual property .

If the rightholders grant third parties a right to use their right, the rightholders do not lose their right of ownership, because the right of use, like the lease, merely embodies a kind of right of ownership . With the granting of an absolute license , the property right does not lose its full existence with the right holder. However, since Section 95c (2) UrhG speaks of the “author or any other right holder”, the addressees of the norm as the right holder are all legal subjects “who are the original or derivative owners of the rights to the technically supported subject matter”.


The rights include all intangible goods such as claims , goodwill and related property rights such as copyrights , concessions , licenses , patents , trademarks , trademarks , registered designs or utility models . Inventions are treated as patents ( § 6 PatG ); in the case of employee inventions, the employers become the legal owners of the inventions by making use of them in accordance with § 7 Paragraph 1 ArbnErfG . According to the prevailing opinion , domain names are also covered by the protection of Section 3 (1 ) MarkenG within the framework of domain name law. The right holder of a domain name can therefore exclude third parties from unauthorized use of his domain name.

A right can also be owned by several rightholders if, for example, several inventors share a common invention. They form a community of fractions according to § § 741 ff. BGB .


The right holder, like the owner of things, has an absolute right , namely intellectual property , so that he can freely dispose of it. He is entitled to use ( exploit ) it himself , to sell it (by way of assignment ; § 398 ff. BGB), to pledge it as collateral ( § 1273 (1) BGB) or to bequeath it ( § 1922 (1) BGB ). The right holder's creditors can also seize his rights because, according to Section 857 (1) ZPO , these belong to the “other property rights”. These include rights of all kinds that embody an asset in such a way that the realization of the pledge can lead to the satisfaction of the creditor's monetary claim.

If the right holder has an accounting obligation (see accounting eligibility ), the rights must be capitalized as assets (with the exception of self-created goodwill, brands, print titles, publishing rights, customer lists or comparable intangible assets ; Section 248 (2) sentence 2 HGB ).

Individual evidence

  1. Guido Brinkel, Filesharing , 2006, p. 10
  2. Robert Dyckerhoff, compensation claim of the patent owner, who has granted an exclusive license, against the patent infringer , in: GRUR 1933, p. 613
  3. Alexander Peukert , in: Ulrich Loewenheim , Handbuch Copyright , 2003, § 34 Rn. 14th
  4. Andreas Ruff, Domain-Law: The legal protection of domain names in the Internet , 2002, p. 61 f.