It has become more common for employers to require new workers to sign employment contracts when they are hired. These agreements are primarily used to protect corporate secrets and to deter competitors from „employee poaching.“ As a general rule, there are three types of employment contracts that serve these purposes: confidentiality agreements, non-compete agreements and labour product agreements. Work product agreements protect a company`s intellectual property by stating that everything the employee creates during his or her job remains the property of the company and not the individual employee. The contract should clearly define the type of product to be protected by the agreement. A typical agreement on working products states that the work product includes „all discoveries, inventions, ideas, concepts, research, brands, service marks, slogans, logos and information, processes, products, techniques, methods and improvements“ that the employee develops independently or in collaboration with other employees or companies. Note: In a relationship between the lawyer and the client, the term „work product“ refers to work performed by a lawyer in preparation for trial (for example. B, notes, legal research, interviews with the client, etc.). The work product is generally protected, which means that the other party cannot access it if it has been prepared for testing. It is also important for the agreement to include an endorsement in which the person identifies, before starting to work in the company, all intellectual property rights in which he or she holds a stake in the property. When the contract is executed after the start of employment (and sufficient consideration has been provided, as noted above), the employer should continue to engage the worker in identifying any intellectual property rights he or she believes he or she owns. In the event that the employee identifies and claims ownership of the intellectual property created during the employment and with the company`s resources and claims ownership of that property, the company should immediately seek to determine whether the employee actually owns it or is owned by the company. At the beginning of the relationship and/or the implementation of the agreement, employers will be proactively mitigated by possible arguments that will later take the path of who owns what.
In most cases, the ownership agreement is specifically governed by a clause relating to employment products in the employment contract. The contract could.. B, for example, contain a clause stating that „all job-related work that the worker has created in the course of the employment is the property of the company.“ The intellectual property ownership of an employer depends on a written agreement with the worker, which expressly confers on the company any intellectual property created by the worker during his or her employment in the company. Such an agreement is often referred to as „invention assignment“ or „discovery owner.“ In the absence of such an agreement, the worker may have a property interest in the intellectual property he created for the company during his activity, even if the person was specifically engaged to invent a specific product or procedure. Tina A. Syring is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Barnes and Thornburg LLP and a member of the firm`s Department of Labor and Labor Law. Ms. Syring advises clients on a wide range of work and employment issues, develops and negotiates executive compensation agreements, and works with employers on the effects of social media. Ms. Syring was selected to be included in the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions by the Minnesota Super Lawyers® and was named At the Minnesota Rising Star by minnesota Law and Politics.
In 2013 and 2014, Chambers USA recognized Ms. Syring as an emerging lawyer in the Labor-Employment: Minnesota sector. Many companies hire contractors so they can have more hands on the bridge in times of shock, without continuing to hire staff.