The relative rights of employer and employee to the fruits of the employee's inventive genius have become increasingly important. In deciding these rights the courts have shown a marked tendency to favor the employee, possibly to compensate for the superior bargaining power of the employer. They have been anxious to limit the rights in the employer implied by the relationship of the parties. Contractual ambiguities have been construed in favor of the employee to a far greater extent than is called for by the rule of construction against the party drawing the contract. Unusual rights in the employer must be stated in unequivocal and unmistakable language to be given effect by the courts. Moreover, when the provisions in favor of the employer were clear, the courts have stood ready to nullify them, if unconscionable, by refusing to enforce them specifically or by finding them void as against public policy.
Lloyd M. Forster,
PATENTS - VALIDITY OF CONTRACTS TO ASSIGN EMPLOYEE'S FUTURE INVENTIONS TO EMPLOYER,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol41/iss1/7