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Does Your Boss Own Your Brain?
May 15, 2018
If a prospective hire approaches a company with a new business idea, that company’s lawyers must determine when the idea was developed, using what resources, and whether or not the prospective hire is subject to a “proprietary information and invention assignment agreement.” If the idea was developed when the prospective hire was subject to a PIIAA, the company must not rely on a document describing it. Instead, instruct the employee to start from scratch after being hired. Incorporating suspect documents into the idea’s development will only give the former employer ammunition for its PIIAA claim. Whether an employer brandishing a PIIAA can indeed lay claim, months or years later, to the fruits of an employee’s unarticulated ideas remains an open question, but in the meantime be cautious, ask questions and protect your company.
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Today’s General Counsel