I'm in the media industry. A potential employer has a robust "work for hire" clause in the proposed work contract. Besides giving up my rights, title and interest in/to any work I produce, any ideas or discoveries I have or come across during my employment would also belong to the company. I want to push for retaining more of my rights if I leave the company, including on any future manifestations of my work (if I were to base any of my work in the future on something I produce while at the company), on preserving any sources (existing or future) as solely my own property, and on taking and using any previously unused material I come across of my own accord freely without permission. What would be the best way to phrase such a clause? Or what sort of IP rights should I fight for the hardest?
1 Answer from Attorneys
There is no bullet proof magic general legal language because retaining your rights depends on the exact nature of the work you will be doing, how the work product will be distributed, future potential use of the work product etc.. In addition, if you will be a W2 employee it would be difficult to negotiate such rights as the presumption is that your employer owns the IP for your work.
You will have to identify a leverage you have and use it in negotiation. Without reviewing your job and the employment agreement it's impossible to render advise. Just so you'll know review and revision of such an agreement is not expensive and could take only 2-3 hours of billable work Certainly worth it if you believe your work product would be valueable in the future. PM me if you need further help
Roman R. Fichman, Esq.
email: Info (@) TheLegalists (dot) com
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