Keep intellectual property (IP) created for your startup, in your startup.
What is an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement?
An Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement is a contractual transfer of the ownership of IP (anything which can be ‘created with the mind’: registered IP such as trademarks and patents, and unregistered IP such as copyrights, designs, concepts, know-how, websites, social media accounts and source code) from the owner/ creator to the startup. In legal documents, the owner/creator is known as the ‘assignor’ (usually the founder, employee, contractor, advisor etc), while the ‘startup’ in question is likely to be your startup’s topco. By transferring the IP, the startup has the legal right to it under contract.
Why generate this document?
Generate this document to keep your IP safe. In the future, an assignor could claim that IP created while working for your startup belongs to them. An Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement prevents this from having an impact on your business. Startups also use this document to ensure that the assignor takes any actions necessary to complete the transfer of any IP to your startup (e.g. transfer a trademark registration or a social media account).
Taking the extra steps needed to transfer any registered IP to your startup, e.g. through an application to your local trademark authority.
Checking what’s needed from a local standpoint: get legal advice to understand any additional steps needed to transfer IP. This may vary depending on where your startup’s topco is incorporated or the assignor is based.