When it comes to protecting your intellectual property (IP), there are many business contracts and agreements that need to be addressed. One of the most important is an Invention Assignment Agreement, especially if you have someone else coding key applications for your company. Here are 2 important reasons why.
1. Avoid Ownership Issues
When a patent is applied for, it has to be done in the name of the inventor. That means a separate agreement needs to exist between you and a programmer to have ownership of a program or application that someone else has developed while working for your company. This includes both employees and freelancers.
By the way, if you ever plan on selling your company, having ownership of proprietary software will affect the selling price, and even if you can sell.
2. California Labor Code Section 925 Is Now in Effect
This new law went into effect on January 1, 2017. If your employees live and work in the state of California, this law affects you and it may affect any Invention Assignment Agreements you already have in place. Thus, it’s a good idea to review these existing agreements with a legal expert to make sure they still protect your IP.
What the Agreement Should Cover
To benefit fully, you need to make sure the agreement requires confidentiality, full disclosure to the business of any inventions or discoveries made while working for you, gives the company ownership of all ideas and work, and guarantees continued confidentially after the employee no longer works for you. Also, the agreement needs to make it clear that the employee is not being promised continued employment by signing the agreement.
Contact Pokala Law to have existing Invention Assignment Agreements reviewed or new agreements drawn up to protect your brand’s intellectual property. Just call 1-844-695-1487 to get started.