Intellectual property rights security agreement: employee

This agreement supplements an employment contract and gives additional protection to IP. It covers confidentiality, ownership of IP produced, and non-competition.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

This comprehensive agreement goes further than a standard employment contract in protecting sensitive workplace information and asserting the employer's rights to ownership of intellectual property.

It can be used by a business in any industry.

It effectively combines three types of document.

Firstly, it deals with confidentiality or non-disclosure of information, as an NDA would. That information might be a customer database, or a process, or created work such as artwork or text or designs.

Secondly, it makes absolutely clear that all work done by the employee is the property of the employer and provides that the employee will take whatever steps are necessary, as the employer requires, to make sure title to that IP is vested in the employer. In certain industries and for more senior staff, created work is sometimes assumed to be the property of the creator, who can take it with him or her when he or she leaves the business. These terms help prevent that from happening.

Thirdly, it acts as a non-compete agreement to help prevent an employee setting up business in competition, or from joining a competitor and providing that IP to his or her new employer. The former cannot be entirely prevented (it is impossible in law to prevent someone from starting a competing business indefinitely), but reduces the likelihood of it happening.

Use this agreement when you have a particularly sensitive project or as a permanent addition to your standard contract of employment when all of your business activities require high level protection.

Although designed to be a stand-alone agreement, the paragraphs in this document could be incorporated into an employment contract.

Alternative agreements

We have a version of this contract which is not specific to employees. If you require to protect your IP from misuse by a contractor look at this security agreement.


The major subjects covered are:

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Confidentiality - in depth
  • “Work made for hire”
  • New IP
  • Undertaking not to compete
  • Other matters relating to enforcement and other legal issues

Additionally, we include over 1,900 words of helpful drafting notes.


This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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