In Applied Materials v. Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Company, a federal district court in Silicon Valley ruled that an invention assignment clause was invalid. The clause required former employees to assign inventions up to a year after the end of their employment. The court ruled that this was tantamount to an employee non-competition clause, which are illegal in California.
Additional info and commentary:
- Order granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment on defendants’ counterclaims [ADDED 6/29/09]
- Court refuses to enforce invention assignment agreement as unlawful noncompete, in Fenwick Employment Brief, June 10, 2009
- Michael Elkon, Inventions Agreements as Unfair Business Practices?, in Trading Secrets blog (by Seyfarth Shaw law firm), June 29, 2009 [ADDED 6/29/09].