Governor Signs Employee Rights to Ownership of Inventions Bill

The Employee Rights to Ownership of Inventions bill signed by former Governor Christie will take effect on April 1, 2018, and will apply to any employment contract entered into in New Jersey on or after that date.

Prior to the law’s enactment, an employer could acquire the rights to employee inventions through the express terms of an employment contract, even if the employee’s invention was outside the scope of their employment.

Under the new law, an employment contract that requires an employee to assign his/her rights to an invention to an employer will not apply to an invention that the employee develops entirely on the employee’s own time without using the employer’s resources or information. However, inventions that relate to the employer’s business or actual or anticipated research or development, or result from any work performed by the employee on behalf of the employer, are an exception to the law and an employer may continue to require the assignment of such inventions.

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