Consequences Of Overreaching IP Policies

Law360, New York (November 9, 2010, 4:02 PM EST) -- Most companies require employees to agree to written policies that clarify intellectual property ownership of employment-related work product. The most typical form of such a policy provides that all intellectual property, such as patentable inventions, copyrightable works of authorship or trade secrets that are created by an employee in the course of his or her employment, are fully assigned to — and therefore owned exclusively — by the employer.

In cases where no clear written policy is in place, employers may be forced to rely on...
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