Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Arizona

Are there any restrictions/limitations on a proprietary information and inventions agreement? I'm a teacher and my current employer will not renew my contract unless I agree to surrender any rights to any new curriculum I develop (or anything that has to do with education) whle I'm employed with them, even if developed during non-work hours or over schol breaks on my own time. This seems like a gross restriction on free trade and contract under coersion/duress.

Asked on 3/19/12, 11:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Delain Delain Law Office, PLLC
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Educational institutions are becoming more and more interested in the intellectual property developed by their employees; technology transfer and commercialization are becoming major sources of income for them. Yes, these agreements can be seen as being over the top, but the courts regularly enforce them. If you don't want the employer to have rights to IP you develop, don't develop IP while you're employed there.

You do actually have a choice in this matter: you can choose to sign the agreement and relinquish your job-related IP rights or you can choose to leave and find other employment. The choice is yours. Be aware that individuals working in industry regularly sign agreements that grant all rights to work-related IP to their employers.

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3/19/12, 11:43 pm

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