Protecting your company`s intellectual property rights is essential at all stages of your business growth. One of the first steps you can take to protect your company`s intellectual property rights is for all your company`s consultants, contractors and employees to enter into proprietary information and invention transfer agreements (“PIIAs”), also known as confidential information and invention transfer agreements. In the haste of creating a new business and pre-accession your initial group of consultants and collaborators, it can be easy to overlook the importance of proper documentation of the company`s relationship with these IP-related individuals. However, as your business is growing and attracts new investors, strategic partners and potential buyers, these other third parties want you to be able to prove that your company clearly owns its intellectual property and ask if your consultants, consultants, contractors and employees have signed IPIs. ACCORDS often contain non-invitations and, for workers working in countries where non-competition clauses are applied, the agreement may also include a non-competition clause (see our article on non-invitation and non-competition clauses). PIIAs generally require a person to agree to keep all proprietary information confidential and to treat that information as exclusive to the company. “proprietary information,” information or documents relating to the company that have not been made available to the public, such as. B: (a) business plans, strategies, methods or policies; (b) marketing information, including customer and stakeholder information; (c) financial information; (d) operational and technological information, including software, designs, processes, formulas, discoveries, inventions, improvements, concepts and ideas; and (e) personnel information. Depending on the industry, there may be different types of information that your employees are expected to treat in a strictly confidential manner, and you should try to tailor the definition of proprietary information in PIAS to the circumstances of your business. Any provision of an employment contract that provides that a worker`s rights over an invention over his employer do not apply to an invention, which the worker has fully developed at his own time, without using the equipment, supplies, facilities or business secrets of the employer, with the exception of inventions that: There may be a number of reasons to sign an IP transfer contract , including: the agreement also requires the employee to agree that everything the worker creates discovers, develops or invents while he is owned by the company. Companies that develop in a way that is compatible with products or technologies (as is the case with most software companies) can rely on interim work under U.S. copyright, which automatically gives the employer ownership of the copyright to paternity works (for example. B software, manuals and documentation) written or created by an employee as part of his or her job.