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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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*Im about to sign an Employment Confidentiality agreement

Resolved Question:

*I'm about to sign an Employment Confidentiality agreement with a company in CA, that contains the following: "Employer shall be deemed to be the absolute and unqualified owner of all trade secrets and/or patented or patentable processes or inventions which directly or indirectly relate to Employee’s work products or Employer’s business which are developed (in whole or in part) by Employee, while employed by Employer, it being understood that Employee acts there under as our employee and that Employee shall have no right, title or interest in or to such material, and that the Employer (at its complete discretion) shall have the exclusive right to obtain patents and other protection therefore.
Employee further agrees to execute and deliver an assignment of all Employee’s rights in such material in a form acceptable to the Employer and such other instruments as Employer shall deem necessary or advisable to evidence, establish, maintain, or defend our rights in or to such material. In this connection Employee irrevocably appoints Employer as his/her true and lawful agent and attorney-in-fact to execute, verify, acknowledge or deliver."
*I understand this is standard, but I have been given the right to revise where necessary.
*As I am not being employed to invent, how can I reword this so that I will not disclose their inventions, but if I invent a product during the term of my employ, I will be able to retain the rights to that invention? I am already planning to delete the last sentence. Since my 35 years of experience, knowledge and prior invention planning might result in a new product, I would like to offer reasonableness in the form of a mutually beneficial statement providing potential for partial royalties, or profits. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

In the following sentence, I would delete the word "indirectly" so the employer is protected with regard to your work product directly relating to your employment with the employer, but not that which indirectly relates to your employment.

"...patentable processes or inventions which directly or indirectly relate to Employee’s work products or Employer’s business which are developed (in whole or in part) by Employee,..."

I would also suggest deleting "or Employer's business which are developed (in whole or in part) by Employee" and replacing it with "created by employee (in whole or in part) in the scope of the employee's employment".

I would also delete "in its sole discretion" and include a provision protecting your ownership and patent rights for inventions or other patentable ideas that are not created in the scope of your employment with this employer.

You may also wish to include a provision whereby they must compensate you for your time if your obligation to deliver an assignment or other instruments causes you to spend more than an hour of your time. While you would typically be compensated for this while an employee, after your employment ends, you will want to ensure you are compensated for this legal obligation if it somehow causes you to spend many hours of time fulfilling your obligation.

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