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OWNERSHIP OF WORK PRODUCT, IDEAS, INVENTIONS, DISCOVERIES AND TRADEMARKS

I shall promptly disclose to (COMPANY) all ideas, inventions or discoveries, whether or not patentable, which I may conceive or make, alone or with others, during my employment, whether or not during working hours, and which directly or indirectly:

  1. relate to matters within the scope of my duties or field of responsibility during my employment by (COMPANY); or
  2. are based on my knowledge of the actual business or the actual or anticipated research and development of (COMPANY); or
  3. are aided by the use of time, materials, facilities or information of (COMPANY).

The following paragraphs can be read here. (pastebin)


Hello. I hope you can provide some advice on my situation.

This is a part of my employment contract. I have omitted the name of the company. My location is NJ.

I work as a cloud engineer. Recently I've been thinking about a particular app/business idea and I've been putting some time and effort into it outside of work (weekends, or in the evenings during the week).

Since I would eventually like to implement this idea as a website / web application and utilize cloud technology in doing so, could this mean my employer owns the idea and anything I develop --since I would use the same technology for my idea that I do at work? Even though it is completely and utterly unrelated to the business model of my employer and I have not used work hours in my implementation of this idea? Would this also mean that any open-source software I develop outside of work automatically belongs to my employer?

What is the extent and limitations of such a clause, which I have agreed to?

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could this mean my employer owns the idea and anything I develop --since I would use the same technology for my idea that I do at work?

No, unless by "technology" you mean the employer's materials or resources (see condition 3 of the clause). Your remark that "this is completely and utterly unrelated to [employer's] business model" survives items 1 and 2. Likewise, working on your idea outside hours survives the corresponding part of item 3.

Would this also mean that any open-source software I develop outside of work automatically belongs to my employer?

No, unless the software you develop is "based on [your] knowledge [etc.] of (COMPANY)".

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