Assembly Bill 474 (Goggin – 1979)
Chapter 1001, Statutes of 1979
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Labor Code sections 2870, et seq., were enacted in 1979 following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 474. (See Exhibit A, #1d) On February 5, 1979, Assembly member Terry Goggin introduced Assembly Bill 474 which, according to the analyses, is patterned after a 1977 Minnesota law. (See Exhibit A, #1a; and #3, page 2) Assembly Bill 474 was supported by numerous labor and technical associations. (See Exhibit A, #9) By the time it was enacted, there was little or no opposition. (See Exhibit A, #9 and #12, generally)
While before the Legislature, Assembly Bill 474 was heard in the Assembly Committee on Labor, Employment, and Consumer Affairs and the Senate Committee on Industrial Relations. (See Exhibit A, #3 and #6) There were two amendments to the bill during legislative consideration. (See Exhibit A, #1b, #1c, and #2) Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., approved this measure, and it was recorded by the Secretary of State as Chapter 1001 of the Statutes of 1979. (See Exhibit A, #1d and #2)
In describing Assembly Bill 474, the Department of Industrial Relations Enrolled Bill Report states that it “[a]ttempts to clarify the area between employers and employees regarding rights to inventions developed by employees.” (See Exhibit A, #12, document PE-3)
Background on the legislation is noted in the Third Reading analysis of the last amended version of Assembly Bill 474 prepared by the Senate Republican Caucus. (See Exhibit A, #8) Therein, it states, in part:
Existing law contains no provisions regarding the right to ownership of an invention where an employee invents something in the course of his or her employment if that person is hired as an inventor or in some related capacity.
This bill is similar to AB 2257 (Goggin) which was passed by the Assembly last session but died on the Senate Third Reading File. . . .
(See Exhibit A, #8, page 2; see also Exhibit A, #3 for a more detailed background discussion)