Important Elements in Intellectual Property-Related Contracts

Contracts are used to formalize virtually all business transactions. Of course, they are appropriate instruments in situations beyond traditional buy/sell arrangements and employment agreements. Any circumstance that involves a mutual exchange of promises likely necessitates a formal, written contract. This is particularly true when there is valuable intellectual property (IP) at stake. Companies with important IP must utilize contracts to ensure that their internal staff and any external vendors or consultants with access to their IP information will act appropriately, irrespective of the timing and duration of that access. And, for employees engaged in or responsible for developing IP, it is imperative for companies to make it clear which party has the proprietary rights.

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