morgan jones on 11 Jun 2011 08:03:55 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] OT: Signing an NDA/Invention Assignment agreement


My understanding is generally the same as Andy's.

Remember, too, that you need not sign the document on the spot.  Take a copy to a lawyer friend or hire a lawyer if you're worried.  It will only cost you a few hundred dollars to have a lawyer look at it and it's worth it for piece of mind.  I can refer to you to a lawyer if you like.  He helped my wife negotiate her employment agreement and did a good job.

You can also strike or change really any part of the agreement and sign that.  A lawyer can help you with this as well.

If you decide not to sign it is generally better to just ignore the request rather than put your foot down and say you're not going to sign.  Sometimes companies send these out knowing that many employees will just sign in reflex--they don't expect everyone to sign and don't want to go to the trouble of forcing everyone to sign.  They may have to deal with squeaky wheels though.

Non competes in particular I'm told are also almost completely un-enforceable unless you received significant compensation for your exit (ie an officer with stock options).  Courts look poorly on limiting an individual's ability to make a living.

Good luck.


On Jun 11, 2011, at 6:19 AM, Andrew Libby wrote:

> Hi Randall,
> You say you need to sign this by Monday?  What are the
> consequences if you don't? It is my understanding that
> you cant be disciplined for fired for refusing to sign
> something that you were not asked to sign as a condition
> of hiring.  We had a biiiiiig hoopla over this at a company
> I was at years back. I signed agreements with them because
> I felt it was the right thing to do.  But I leveraged
> their inability to force me to help make the agreements
> more reasonable and acceptable to everyone.
> I'm no lawyer, but have read and signed a decent number of
> agreements and contracts.  I've found that some language
> that seems scary is reasonable or even attractive, likewise
> some language that seems innocuous is both scary and unreasonable.  I've politely turned down probably two jobs
> in the past that required particularly unrealistic
> assignment and non-compete agreements.
> I'm in interested to see the language you're concerned with.
> Good luck with it all.
> Andy
> On 6/10/11 10:50 PM, Randall Sindlinger wrote:
>> Hey Folks,
>> I imagine a number of you have dealt with NDAs before.  I don't
>> remember the last time I needed to think about this.  Now I suddenly
>> have one to sign by Monday.
>> What are the gotchas I should be aware of?  And what about the
>> Invention Assignment part of this?  I have some (I think) patentable
>> ideas, and I've even mused about writing a movie script. _I_ don't
>> think it's "relevant to the subject matter of my employment" but
>> should I be concerned?  Are there any horror stories?
>> Should I be asking for recommendations for an attorney?
>> Thanks all,
>> -Randall
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