Event Debrief: Intellectual Property and Employment Law

On January 12, 2017, Royse Law Firm hosted “Intellectual Property and Employment Law” featuring attorneys Gretchen Birkheimer (Pierce & Shearer) and Steve Colby (Royse Law). The panel was moderated by Soyeun Choi.

The speakers discussed important aspects of practice issues at the intersection of IP and Employment Law. Participating attorneys also shared practical tips on drafting specific contract provisions regarding ownership assignment, solicitation, work made for hire. Brief highlights from the event:

Intellectual Property Law

1. Clients should develop a well-organized mechanism to define and then track the flow of confidential information.

  • Specifically define what the employer considers to be confidential information
  • Label confidential documents as confidential
  • Securely store documents and limit access
  • Instruct employees about the importance of protecting such information

2. Include the following language in corporate IP assignment agreements: “I agree to assign and thereby assign the [Intellectual Property]” to the company.”

Employment Law

1. Have companies educate their workforce on how the use of company property, resources and facilities for the purpose of developing separate side projects may lead to the companies’ ownership of the IP.

2. Keep current with new developments affecting the employment ecosystem. For example, ex-employees’ posts on social platforms like LinkedIn could be regarded as indirect solicitation.

3. The non-compete clause is still unenforceable in California, but employees may be vulnerable to trade secret misappropriation charges.

This debrief was provided by Dariia Skrementova, SCU School of Law LL.M. Candidate 2017.