Employee technology agreement challenged

|Canadian Employment Law Today

When Tiete Wolda worked for Techform Products Limited, first as an employee and later as an independent contractor, he invented a number of products. Ownership of his first two inventions was never an issue. Ownership of the third and fourth inventions was the subject of litigation.

Subsequent to the second invention, when Mr. Wolda was working for the company as an independent contractor, Techform prepared an employee technology agreement (ETA) for Mr. Wolda to sign. The purpose of the agreement was for Techform to put “a more formal method in place to safeguard the confidentiality of new projects for Techform.”

The agreement provided that Mr. Wolda would inform the company of all inventions that he conceived or completed while employed by the company and that related to the work of the company. The agreement further provided that Mr. Wolda assigned his ownership rights to such inventions to the company.