how much leeway do I have to modify the intellectual property clause in an employment agreement with a big company?

I have received an employment offer from a big company. What is standard language that I should look for to protect any IP I develop on my own time? Is it common to modify the IP clause when working with a big company?

Asked on July 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have as much leeway as your prospective employer will grant you: an agreement like this is purely voluntary, as is going to work for them in the first place. Either you and they will agree to let you carve out protection for any IP you develop on your own time or you will not--in which case, you can agree to accept their terms or you can choose to not work for them. There is no template for this: it's all about what you and they can negotiate to. As a general rule thoug, based on my experience, big companies are NOT likely to change their standard forms or practices unless you are a very valuable employee and they are willing to do whatever it takes to land you.


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