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Non-Compete Agreement Beyond Term of Employment? 778

Posted by kdawson
from the long-arm-of-the-contract dept.
stellar7 writes "I work in IT for a large company. They have recently asked me to sign a new non-compete and confidentiality agreement. I signed an agreement when I began employment, but now they want me to sign an updated one. Behind the link are a few paragraphs from the new agreement. It states that the company has a royalty-free license to any 'Invention' I create including up to six months after leaving (and the company fully owns any Invention that relates to the company in this same period). Has anyone signed a similar agreement that reaches beyond the end of employment and includes things not related to the business?"

A. Employee shall promptly and fully disclose in writing to [Company] any inventions, improvements, discoveries, operating techniques, or "know-how", whether patentable or not (hereinafter referred to as "Inventions"), conceived or discovered by Employee, either solely or jointly with others, during the course of Employee's employment with [Company], or within six (6) months thereafter.

B. Employee shall, on the request of [Company], and hereby does, assign to [Company] all of Employee's right, title and interest in any of the Inventions which relate to, or are useful in connection with, any aspect of the business of [Company], as carried on or contemplated at the time the Invention is made, whether or not Employee's duties are directly related thereto. [Company] shall be the sole and absolute owner of any of the Inventions so assigned. Employee shall perform any further acts or execute any papers, at the expense of [Company], which it may consider necessary to secure for [Company] or its successors or assigns any and all rights relating to the Inventions, including patents in the United States and foreign countries.

C. [Company] shall be the sole judge as to whether the Inventions are related to or useful in connection with any aspect of the business of [Company] as earned on or contemplated at the time the Invention is made and as to whether patent applications should be filed in the United States or in foreign countries.

D. [Company] shall have the option of taking a permanent, royalty-free license to manufacture, use, and sell any of the Inventions conceived or discovered by Employee during the course of Employee's employment with [Company], or within six (6) months thereafter, that are not assigned to [Company] under paragraph B. of this Agreement.
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Non-Compete Agreement Beyond Term of Employment?

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  • by Skeetskeetskeet (906997) on Monday November 12, 2007 @01:18AM (#21319693)
    When I left Microsoft I was told that I was not to divulge the secrets of Microsoft Bob or Windows ME until the year 2050. FIRST!
  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Monday November 12, 2007 @01:33AM (#21319847) Homepage

    And I wouldn't even think of signing it.
    Good luck on your job search. Keep us updated.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOspaM.hotmail.com> on Monday November 12, 2007 @01:39AM (#21319903) Journal
    I was told that I was not to divulge the secrets of Microsoft Bob or Windows ME until the year 2050

    Understandable.

    They've distilled the usability of Bob and the stability of ME into Vista....

  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Monday November 12, 2007 @02:46AM (#21320323) Journal
    I suggest you invent a new form of crack cocaine after leaving.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2007 @02:57AM (#21320383)

    Find a job where your employer is at least TRYING to be fair and reasonable.

    And the options for those of us seeking employment outside of fantasyland would be...?
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@@@drunksnipers...com> on Monday November 12, 2007 @03:43AM (#21320629) Homepage
    http://worsethanfailure.com/Articles/Security_by_Insanity.aspx [worsethanfailure.com]

    "You ... altered The Contract" he mumbled.

    "No," I corrected him, "I made a few notes on the review copy you gave me; you told me to review it, and so, these are my notes."

    "You altered ... The Contract!," he insisted.

    "Errm ... no," I didn't know how simplify it further him, "this is not a contract unless we both sign it.
  • by Soruk (225361) on Monday November 12, 2007 @04:54AM (#21320937) Homepage
    Then you're doing something that is patently false. By writing "This page intentionally left blank" and initialling it, the page is no longer blank.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2007 @05:09AM (#21321003)
    I'll do you one better. My last job fired me a month ago for the neurotic reason of missing a meeting. Not an important meeting. Not even a one time meeting. Just a routine Friday morning meeting which never divulges any useful information what so ever and is pretty much a waste of an hour. Now that's not the amazing part.

    The amazing part is sitting there the Monday morning after the meeting listening to HR read me the termination letter. They've brought in the previous HR lady AND the company lawyer (which they don't routinely do) because they're scared of me. Mysterious powers of network admins, I guess. Then after reading me a specially written termination letter (this is a company with a 100%+ yearly turnover rate, so their typical letter is a form to save time) the HR lady has the following to say:

    "Typically, when we hire an employee, they sign a confidentiality agreement."

    "OK."

    "You don't have one in your employee file."

    I begin to smell where this is going, but due to sheer disbelief, I play dumb, "OK. Are we done?"

    "Could you please sign this one now?"

    Yep. They actually asked it. WHILE they were firing me. I didn't know which impressed me more... the amount of nerve it took them to tell her to ask me that, or the stupidity it would require to believe in a million years somebody might comply. "Uh, no?" I responded.

    Now at this point, the lady seems visibly shaken. The big wigs watching her are obviously not pleased that she couldn't work a miracle. "Is there uh... is there a particular reason why you don't uh... don't want to?"

    A million things run through my mind. Illegal things they've done, mostly. But I decide it's best not to let them know what I know and respond, "Beside the fact that you're asking me for a favor as you fire me? I just don't feel like signing anything right now."

    Still makes me laugh. I've never worked at a more neurotic, incompetent, worthless company in my entire life. Had a previous employer before the last one that tried to float a non-compete to all the employees after we were working there. We got together and all said "Nah, we don't like the terms. We're not signing." and they never asked again.

    But asking someone while you're firing them to sign a confidentiality agreement? Amazing.
  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Monday November 12, 2007 @07:02AM (#21321535) Homepage

    This just in: You undermine your credibility when you expose your prejudices. Your hostility betrays you.
    That's a bit hyperbolic. I'm curious, what are you smoking?

  • by ultranova (717540) on Monday November 12, 2007 @08:07AM (#21321845)

    Then maybe people should just stop assuming and write in a gender-neutral way. It really doesn't take much effort. "He or she" takes half a second more to type.

    But what about hermaphrodites ? After all, they aren't "he or she", but "he and she". You need to write "he and/or she". But even then you run the risk of offending the odd person who has been born without genitalia of any kind, or perhaps asexual aliens who may be reading Slashdot; so better use "he and/or she or it". But what if the aliens have three genders ? Two of them get referred to as persons - "he" and "she" - while the third is referred to as "it", likening it to an animal or object.

    So, in the interest of political correctness, call everyone "it". It's the only way to guarantee equal verbal treatment of all possible gender combinations, altought it of course still horribly discriminates against nonentities, since "it" can only refer to an entity.

    That, or simply ignore the people who take personal offense when someone doesn't know their gender and doesn't go out of his way to not have to guess.

  • by AVee (557523) <slashdot.avee@org> on Monday November 12, 2007 @08:26AM (#21321925) Homepage

    God, I hate that. It's she.
    I am not going get into al the arguments about wether or not it was God's fault, or if he is able to fix it. At least not on slashdot.

    But, even though I don't mind the fact that you are a girl (and I supposed this goes for 99.8% of the slashdot readers), if you really hate it that bad you can have that fixed [wikipedia.org] these days. Being a boy isn't as terrible as you may think it is, I for one have quite liked it so far.
  • by RonBurk (543988) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:17AM (#21323481) Homepage Journal

    That's right. And people should realize that English never changes.

    I always thought that "PC" stood for "plain courtesy". It seems to fit just fine everywhere I see someone ranting about "political correctness".

  • by HarvardAce (771954) on Monday November 12, 2007 @12:18PM (#21324235) Homepage

    Maybe people should just realize that "he" is the gender-neutral pronoun in English! All you dipshits butchering the language in the name of "political-correctness" can kiss my ass!
    Or, for an even better solution, you can just use "dipshits" and never have to use "he" or "she" or any other pronoun!
  • by TekPolitik (147802) on Monday November 12, 2007 @06:35PM (#21329207) Journal

    there's a reason why handwritten modifications to contracts are generally initialled by both parties

    Type up a new version of the signature page, adding a new final clause:

    All other clauses are null and void unless, prior to the seventh day after the employee signs this document, the entire area of Washington DC is destroyed by a meteor strike.

    Give it to them eight days after you signed it. Hey, somebody who asks you to sign this document is not respecting you, why should you show any more respect?

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