Effective ownership of results
To decide whether a company has effective ownership you must look at the circumstances in which R&D activities are conducted and what practical, as well as formal, rights the company has to the results from those activities, such as know-how and intellectual property.
Having effective ownership does not necessarily mean that your company is the proprietor of a piece of intellectual property in any formal sense. Such rights may not be available, or the formal owner of the resulting intellectual property may hold it on such terms that the company has all of the advantages of formal ownership. For example, it might have the right to use a patent over the R&D results, without further fee or payment, for the expected useful life of the patent.
You may give some theoretical rights of ownership, in relation to intellectual property or results, to others without denying your effective ownership of them. For example, you might completely control the commercial results of R&D activities, yet permit the contract researcher some exclusive scientific publication rights.