Show & Tell: What inventors need to know about the law

Kate A. Sherlock is an associate at Archer & Greiner P.C. in Haddonfield.

We asked Kate about New Jersey now providing new protections to employees who develop inventions on their own time.

“In order to comply with the new law, it’s important for employers who rely on employment agreements to examine their contracts and limit the scope of any IP assignment clauses to exclude inventions that are: 1) developed by the employee entirely on his or her own personal time; 2) developed without using the employer’s resources; and 3) outside the scope of the employee’s job functions. While the law provides new protections to employees, inventions that relate to the employer’s business, research or development are not covered by the law, even if developed outside of work, and are therefore still assignable to employers. Ultimately, employees should amend their agreements that conflict with the new law.”