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In the phrase:

"You agree that any rights you may have in any intellectual property produced, invented or conceived by you in connection with any of our business whether before or after the date of this document automatically vests in us without any requirement to make payment to you"

What is a reasonable interpretation of in connection with?

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I suggest you take legal advice on the issue. There are two types of these clauses, ones that go too far and aren't enforceable and ones that don't.

I don't know what you do or what you invent, or whether your job is to invent.

However, when it comes to entitlement disputes (that is a dispute between owners/or wannabe owners) between employee and employer the first question we ask is - was it created in the course of employment. Then we ask how it was created - what resources - then we ask if the person was directed to invent that thing etc.

It is not true to say that anything created by employees is automatically owned by their employer. It is more complex than that. We need to look at roles, responsibilities etc.

I would say that in my line of work about 90% of entitlement disputes are caused because the "boss" just wants to use something and thinks it is handy to have - this does not given them entitlement to the invention.

When a clause goes too far, it is seen as a restraint of trade by the Courts and is not enforceable. Employers do not own you or everything you create - just what you create for them in the course of your employment.

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    Thanks Nicole, I appreciate your guidance. Fantastic contribution. While this has long since been resolved, I'll keep you in mind for future matters! – Liam M Jul 28 at 4:46
  • In scar jurisdiction are you an IP lawyer? The question is tagged australia, and it's conceivable that the legal climate varies from one jurisdiction to another. – phoog Jul 29 at 0:33
  • Sorry I don't know what you mean by Scar? I am an Australian IP Lawyer and a registered trade marks attorney - I haven't been putting up my credentials as the mods weren't keen - but since you asked - eaglegate.com.au/nicolemurdoch – Nicole Murdoch Jul 29 at 1:04
  • In the US, "what goes too far' varies significantly from one state to anotehr. I don't know where the line is drawn in Australia. In some US states a contract can provide that the employer owns all IP created by the employee "during the term of employment" including off hours work totally unconnected with the job, and this will be enforceable. In others it will not. – David Siegel Aug 9 at 23:18

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