I've seen some contracts with an ownership provision: for example if an employee invents something, it belongings to the employer.

Often times I see a provision beneath it stating "if this isn't possible, they grant us a license to do whatever we want with it".

Why would this happen? How could someone/something not be able to own something (relating to IP) in law? For whatever the reason, why would licensing be allowed?

  • @amon please don’t answer in comments
    – Dale M
    Jan 29, 2020 at 9:40
  • @DaleM I'm no longer interested in writing full answers, but please feel free to flesh out these points and post your own.
    – amon
    Jan 29, 2020 at 10:33
  • @amon then just don’t comment. It’s an abuse of the commenting privilege
    – Dale M
    Jan 29, 2020 at 19:02


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