"Invention Agreements – Available Helps," Townsend IP Update, Dec. 9, 2010.

Help is available to employees, as well as employers in preparing and negotiating agreements to assign inventions. While employers may have in-house attorneys who deal with labor and employment issues, an independent attorney who is familiar with patent law and ownership rights and related issues can play an important role that benefits both the employer and the employee. For the employee, an independent lawyer can advocate, as well as counsel the employee and explain problem areas and risks, the role of patents and inventions in product development, and the chances for ending up with any substantial reward. Further, a neutral attorney can help by evaluating each side’s strengths and weaknesses, acting as a mediator and suggesting both specific areas for negotiation and possible settlement terms.

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