Federal District Court Decision Invalidating Invention Assignment Agreement Highlights Importance of Trade Secret Protection

June 04, 2009
A recent decision by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California limited the enforceability of post-employment intellectual property assignment agreements in California, holding that an intellectual property assignment provision was an invalid non-compete agreement in violation of California law and that the employer’s inclusion of that provision in employment agreements constituted an unfair business practice. This update examines the ruling, which highlights the need for narrowly tailoring assignment agreements and diligent protection of trade secret information.