It’s not unusual for businesses to outsource certain types of work to third-party companies. If you outsource parts of your workflow, consider getting an Invention Assignment Agreement (IAA) signed. Learn what this contract is, as well as when and why you may need it.
Invention Assignment Agreements Explained
An IAA is almost always overlooked. That’s probably because in most cases it isn’t really necessary. However, it can potentially save you a lot of legal trouble down the road. Many attorneys in business law recommend their clients to have a contract signed even if they don’t think it’s necessary.
An IAA basically affirms that any type of work completed by a third-party service is the Intellectual Property (IP) of the company that hired the third-party entity. Many businesses believe that because they hired and paid for work completed by the third party that the finished product belongs to them. This isn’t the case; by default, it may technically still belong to the person or service that performed the work.
When You Need an IAA
An IAA is only necessary for certain services. It’s generally needed when third parties are hired for the following types of work:
- Software code
- Logo designs
- Written work such as e-books, case studies, and even shorter published pieces like blog posts
In most cases, the third-party provider will recognize the product as belonging to the company that hired it. However, there may be instances where third-parties claim the product is theirs. If no IAA is signed, then the rights may legally belong to the third party.
If you own a business, then we recommend you contact Curtis & Casteel Law Group. While we typically handle real estate law and bankruptcy cases, we also routinely serve businesses on matters involving ownership of intellectual property. As an insurance policy, we typically recommend businesses to get an Invention Assignment Agreement signed just to be cautious.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
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