[First Reprint]








Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DAVID C. RUSSO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman O'Scanlon and Assemblywoman Pinkin






     Protects employee rights to ownership and usage of employee inventions developed entirely on employee’s own time and without using employer’s resources.



     As reported by the Assembly Labor Committee on October 13, 2016, with amendments.


An Act concerning certain employee inventions and supplementing P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-1 et seq.).


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    a.  (1) Any provision in an employment contract between an employee and employer, which provides that the employee shall assign or offer to assign any of the employee’s rights to an invention to that employer, shall not apply to an invention that the employee develops entirely on the employee’s own time, and without using the employer’s equipment, supplies, facilities or information, including any trade secret information, except for those inventions that:

     (a)   relate to the employer’s business or actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development; or

     (b)   result from any work performed by the employee on behalf of the employer.

     (2)   To the extent any provision in an employment contract applies, or intends to apply, to an employee invention subject to this subsection, the provision shall be deemed against the public policy of this State and shall be unenforceable.

     b.    If an employee, outside the context of an employment contract, voluntarily offers to the employee’s employer an opportunity to acquire any of the employee’s rights to an invention subject to subsection a. of this section, following the development of the invention, which development may include the idea or concept for the actual production of the invention, the employer shall have no more than nine months from the initial date of the employee’s offer to the employer to accept or reject the opportunity to acquire any rights.  After this period, the employee shall retain all of the employee’s rights to the invention, and the employer shall be barred from any further opportunity to acquire any of the rights.

     1c.   Nothing in this act shall be deemed to impede or otherwise diminish the rights of alienation of inventors or patent-owners.1


     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month next following enactment, and shall apply to any employment contract entered into on or after that effective date.