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  • NJ A492
  • Protects employee rights to ownership and usage of employee inventions developed entirely on employee's own time and without using employer's resources.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(12/5/2016)
Crossed Over
(11/21/2016)
PassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill prohibits an employment contract between an employee and employer that requires the assignment by the employee of any employee invention developed entirely on the employee's own time and without using the employer's resources. However, this prohibition shall not apply to any such invention that: (1) relates to the employer's business or actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development; or (2) results from any work performed by the employee on behalf of the employer. To the extent any provision in an employment contract applies, or intends to apply, to any such employee invention falling under the scope of the bill, the provision shall be deemed against the public policy of this State and shall be unenforceable. The bill further provides that, outside the context of an employment contract, if an employee voluntarily offers to the employee's employer an opportunity to acquire any of the employee's rights to an invention, following the development of the invention, which development may include the idea or concept for the actual production of the invention, the employer shall have no more than nine months from the initial date of the employee's offer to the employer to accept or reject the opportunity to acquire any rights. After this period, the employee shall retain all of the employee's rights to the invention, and the employer shall be barred from any further opportunity to acquire any of the rights. The general intent of this bill is to preserve an employee's common law rights to the exclusive ownership and usage of any employee invention totally unrelated to the job functions of the employee and created wholly without using any employer resources. Under current law in New Jersey, nothing prevents an employer from acquiring the rights to any such employee invention through the express terms of an employment contract. This bill would prevent the employer's acquisition of rights to such invention through such a contract, thereby preserving the employee's rights to the employee's own invention. It also intends to preserve these rights by setting a limited period, of nine months, during which an employer can acquire rights to such inventions when voluntarily offered by the employee. Beyond this period, the employee shall retain all of the employee's rights, and the employer shall be barred from any further opportunity to acquire them.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Labor, Passed Assembly
Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Labor Committee  (on 12/5/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
12/5/2016 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Labor Committee
11/21/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (72-0-0)
10/13/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
10/13/2016 Assembly Labor Hearing (10:00 10/13/2016 Committee Room 15, Fourth Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 11/21/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 72 0 7
Detail 10/13/2016 Assembly Labor Committee: Reported with Amendments 9 0 0