Entrepreneurs in California may be aware of some of that state's laws concerning intellectual property. California is one of the few states that expressly prohibits employers from requiring an employee to assign their inventions to their employer if the invention was developed on the employee's own time and with their own resources. State laws throughout the United States vary on some aspects of ownership of intellectual property, such as adequate consideration for assignment of an invention.
In many California intellectual property cases we have discussed on our blog, allegations of malfeasance are usually between two companies that are in the same industry. For example, scientists who are accused of stealing trade secrets usually do so with the intent of sharing those secrets with a rival scientific company.
What is the most valuable part of your business? Some people might say it's their inventory; others might say it's their location. However, in many cases -- whether or not California entrepreneurs consider it -- the most valuable part of a business is its ideas. After all, without a vibrant culture of innovation, there's not much to set a business apart from its competitors.
Almost all companies have some kind of intellectual property that they need to protect. Sacramento firms often have many trade secrets that they take great pains to protect. Even so, sometimes rogue employees attempt to capitalize on this information for their own profit.