Bio-Rad Ruling Highlights IP Assignment Clause Limits

Law360 (May 5, 2021, 4:01 PM EDT) -- Modern employment contracts routinely contain assignment clauses, in which employees agree to assign their rights in any intellectual property developed during the period of employment.

But to what extent can an employer rely on these clauses to assert an ownership interest in patents obtained after the period of employment ends?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently provided guidance in Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. v. International Trade Commission.[1] The court held that mere ideas are not sufficient to trigger assignment provisions where those provisions are limited to intellectual property and where the conception date of the patented invention was...

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