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New law expands New Jersey employee rights

A new law passed by outgoing governor Chris Christie offers some expanded protections for employees' intellectual property, granting those who create intellectual property on their own time more tools to protect it. Under the new law, employees who create something on their own time without using employer resources may retain the sole right to use and own that creation.

While this may apply in many different instances, it is particularly useful to those working in the tech industry, where many employees at large tech firms also maintain side projects they hope to someday bring to market as entrepreneurs.under the new law, they have greater flexibility to develop their ideas without worrying that their employer may seize a particular idea and claim that it belongs to the company because of the scope of the employee's employment.

This new law supports those leading the next wave of innovation, giving them the freedom to create with much less concern for how to avoid ceding their inventions to their employer. Employee protections like these ensure that innovation does not grind to a halt as tech firms grow and continue to influence local, state and federal policies.

If you suspect that your employer unfairly claimed your creation as part of your scope of employment, you can consult with an experienced attorney who understands the intricacies of New jersey employment law. With proper guidance from an experienced attorney, you can closely examine the details of your conflict and find ways to keep your rights, priorities and creations protected against unfair claims. After all, your idea may be the next big thing!

Source:, "A new intellectual property right for New Jersey employees/inventors," Joseph Milano, Feb. 01, 2018

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