A handful of other states, including Illinois and Washington, have similar laws. for more information.) If you work in one of these states, make sure any contract you are asked to sign meets your state’s requirements.
If you can’t figure out whether the contract is legal, consult with a local employment lawyer before signing.
Chromalloy appointed Teets as the chief engineer for the project.
Unfortunately, Chromalloy did not have an Invention Assignment Agreement in place with Teets.
As such, at the least, Chromalloy could continue to sell the new composite blades to GE.
Upon appeal, the Federal Circuit held that Chromalloy had more than just “shop rights” but also owned the patent rights. Based on this case, it is important to set up proper procedures and documentation to clarify ownership of intellectual property rights cases not only in the employment context but also when hiring a sub-contractor.
Invention rights can also be acquired by way of the Employed-to-Invent doctrine.
In particular, to the extent that the employer specifically hires or directs an employee to exercise inventive faculties, the invention is owned by the employer.
In California, for example, an invention assignment agreement is not valid as to inventions created entirely on the employee’s own time, without using any of the employer’s resources or property (including intellectual property).
(Although there are exceptions where the invention results from the work the employee did for the employer or relates to the employer’s business or anticipated research or development.) California employees who are asked to sign an invention assignment agreement must also receive a written notification of these rules.