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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   Patentable Idea Help
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   Author  Topic: Patentable Idea Help  (Read 1167 times)
JimIvey
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  jamesdivey  
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Re: Patentable Idea Help
« Reply #5 on: Sep 14th, 2004, 9:16am »
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Mr. Clark has done a good job addressing the main issues.  I'd like to just offer up another thought.  Of course, this is all about contract law and not something I do, so this is just pontification bases on what I remember from law school many years ago.
 
Mr. Clark is correct that some provisions of the contract can and probably will survive a breach -- even a material breach.  For materiality, think of the seriousness of the breach.  You might think of felony vs. misdemeanor breach -- or, for you football fans, the 15-yard facemask penalty vs. the 5-yard facemask penalty.
 
Failing to notify the other side of your new address is often a breach of the contract (as most require that you keep the other side informed of where they should contact you re the contract).  However, that really doesn't seriously affect the value of the contract.  
 
On the other hand, some forms of breach seriously affect the value of the overall contract.  In your case, their breach sounds rather serious -- depriving you of all value.  In this case, it may be likely that you can have the entire contract rescinded (undone) in court.  
 
Non-disclosure portions of the contract may or may not survive -- they would appear to have great importance to the company and not great importance to you (except that they might affect your ability to file your patent application).  I think any provision requiring you to assign your patent rights would not survive since that provision is primarily how you are to convey value to the company.  
 
I hope that helps.  It's something to think about.
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James D. Ivey
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