context in confidentiality agreement
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Posted by Michael Robinson on September 05, 2003 at 14:56:53:
I have a copy of a confidentiality agreement that seems harmless enough. Paragraph 5 of this single page document, which is signed by by contractors before working with a subcontracting company, has the following sentence:
"Any inventions made through the use of Company Proprietary Information or equipment or facilities or which result from any work performed by the undersigned for the Company, shall belong exclusively to the Company and its assigns shall have the sole and exclusive right to use and/or apply for patents, copyrights or other statutory or common law protections for such inventions in any and all countries."
I have spoken to one attorney in asking him how broad this statement is and what scope is covered and in what context, as well as what would could be considered enforceable in tht context. I was told that it was very broad in scope. That this language changes the Confidentiality Agreement into a contract in which the Company could actually claim ownership to your very thoughts (He was NOT kidding.) as in if you have an idea, whether or not related to your job AND whether or not you are actually performing any work at the time, makes no difference. If you are daydreaming about building a new skate board while on your lunch hour at Sonic DriveIn, the company owns the rights to that idea.
I'm sorry guys, but that is a bit scary, as far as I'm concerned. Is this accurate?
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