Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement

Startup Law ResourcesIncorporateEmployment Law, Human Resources

A confidentiality and invention assignment agreement is typically signed by all founders and employees of company. The agreement creates a confidential relationship between the parties to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information and assigns all relevant work product to the company during the signors employment with the company.


In consideration and as a condition of my continued relationship, whether as an officer, director, employee or consultant (“Services”) or otherwise with [Company Name] or any of its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company”), I agree as follows:

1.      Confidential Information

1.1.   Definition. I agree that all information, whether or not in writing, concerning the Company’s business, technology, business relationships or financial affairs which the Company has not released to the general public (collectively, “Confidential Information”) is and will be the exclusive property of the Company.  Confidential Information also includes information received in confidence by the Company from its customers or suppliers or other third parties.  Confidential Information may include, without limitation, information on finance, structure, business plans, employee performance, staffing, compensation of others, research and development, operations, manufacturing and marketing, strategies, customers, files, keys, certificates, passwords and other computer information, as well as information that the Company receives from others under an obligation of confidentiality.

1.2.   Disclosure. I will not, at any time, without the Company’s prior written permission, either during or after my Services, disclose any Confidential Information to anyone outside of the Company, or use or permit to be used any Confidential Information for any purpose other than the performance of my duties as a service provider of the Company.  I will cooperate with the Company and use my best efforts to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of all Confidential Information. I will deliver to the Company all copies of Confidential Information in my possession or control upon the earlier of a request by the Company or termination of my Services.

2.      Developments

2.1.   Disclosure of Developments.  I will make full and prompt disclosure to the Company of all inventions, discoveries, designs, developments, methods, modifications, improvements, processes, algorithms, mask works, databases, computer programs, formulae, techniques, trade secrets, graphics or images, and audio or visual works and other works of authorship (collectively “Developments”), whether or not patentable or copyrightable, that are created, made, conceived or reduced to practice by me (alone or jointly with others) or under my direction during the period of my Services, provided, however, that if I am classified by the Company as a consultant, I will be obligated to only make full and prompt disclosure of Company-Related Developments (as defined below) and related Intellectual Property Rights therein (as defined below).  

2.2.   Assignment of Developments.  I acknowledge that all work performed by me is on a “work for hire” basis, and I hereby do assign and transfer and, to the extent any such assignment cannot be made at present, will assign and transfer, to the Company and its successors and assigns all my right, title and interest in all Developments that (a) relate to the business of the Company or any customer of or supplier to the Company or any of the products or services being researched, developed, manufactured or sold by the Company or which may be used with such products or services; or (b) result from tasks assigned to me by the Company; or (c) result from the use of premises or personal property (whether tangible or intangible) owned, leased or contracted for by the Company (collectively, “Company-Related Developments”), and all related patents, patent applications, trademarks and trademark applications, copyrights and copyright applications, and other intellectual property rights in all countries and territories worldwide and under any international conventions (“Intellectual Property Rights”).  I understand that to the extent this Agreement is required to be construed in accordance with the laws of any state which precludes a requirement in an employee or other service provider agreement to assign certain classes of inventions made by an employee or other service provider, this paragraph 2 will be interpreted not to apply to any invention which a court rules and/or the Company agrees falls within such classes.

2.3.   Prior Inventions.  I will not incorporate, or permit to be incorporated, any Prior Invention (as defined below) in any Company-Related Development without the Company’s prior written consent.  A “Prior Invention” is any Development that I have, alone or jointly with others, conceived, developed or reduced to practice prior to the commencement of my Services with the Company that I consider to be my property or the property of third parties.  If, in the course of my Services with the Company, I incorporate a Prior Invention into a Company product, process or machine or other work done for the Company, I hereby grant to the Company a nonexclusive, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license (with the full right to sublicense) to make, have made, modify, use, sell, offer for sale and import such Prior Invention.

2.4.   Other Agreements. I represent that my performance of all provisions of this Agreement will not breach any agreement or other obligation to keep in confidence proprietary or confidential information known to me before or after the commencement of my employment with the Company. I will not disclose to the Company, use in the performance of my work for the Company, or induce the Company to use, any Inventions (as defined below), confidential or proprietary information, or other material belonging to any previous employer or to any other party in violation of any obligation of confidentiality to such party or in violation of such party’s proprietary rights.   

3.      Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. I will cooperate fully with the Company, both during and after my Services with the Company, with respect to the procurement, maintenance and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Company-Related Developments.  I will sign, both during and after the term of this Agreement, all papers, including without limitation copyright applications, patent applications, declarations, oaths, assignments of priority rights, and powers of attorney, which the Company may deem necessary or desirable in order to protect its rights and interests in any Company-Related Development.

4.      Survival and Assignment by the Company.  I understand that my obligations under this Agreement will continue in accordance with its express terms regardless of any changes in my title, position, duties, salary, compensation or benefits or other terms and conditions of my Services. I further understand that my obligations under this Agreement will continue following the termination of my Services regardless of the manner of such termination and will be binding upon my heirs, executors and administrators.  The Company will have the right to assign this Agreement to its affiliates, successors and assigns.  I expressly consent to be bound by the provisions of this Agreement for the benefit of the Company or any parent, subsidiary or affiliate to whom I may be transferred without the necessity that this Agreement be reexecuted at the time of such transfer.

5.      Severability. In case any provisions (or portions thereof) contained in this Agreement will, for any reason, be held invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability will not affect the other provisions of this Agreement, and this Agreement will be construed as if such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.

6.      No Employment Obligation. I understand and agree that my employment with the Company is at will. Accordingly, my Services can be terminated, without cause or notice, at my option or the Company’s option.  The at-will nature of my employment also means that I can be transferred or demoted, and my job title, compensation, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment can be reduced, without cause. I understand that the duration and other terms and conditions of my employment with the Company will be governed by this paragraph and that this paragraph constitutes the entire agreement, arrangement, and understanding between me and the Company on these subject matters and supersedes any prior or contemporaneous agreement, arrangement, and understanding on this subject matter.  This at-will status of my employment relationship with the Company will remain in effect throughout my employment with the Company unless such status is modified by a written agreement signed by both an authorized officer of the Company and me which expressly alters such status.

7.      Governing Law. This Agreement and actions taken hereunder shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of [Incorporated State], applied without regard to conflict of law principles. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned has executed this Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement as of the date set forth below.

Signed:            ______________________________

Name:            [
Founder or Employee's Name]              
Date:               [


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