I'm in negotiations for a position with a large corporation and I'm reading their employment terms. In their IP/copyright section they state that anything that I do outside of work that is "similar" to what I perform on the job is also theirs. I understand that it's intentionally very vague to protect them, but I'm also a little nervous that it could be abused. The way I read it, anything I produce outside of work could be claimed as well, because it would fall under "programming".
Is this relatively standard? Could I negotiate more specific terms (I have asked if I could get clarification)? Should I be worried that they could abuse this? I just don't want to be caught in a situation where come up with a (potentially) great idea outside of work and they swoop down and lay claim to it.
To help a bit, here is the parts in question: "In the event any 'work' is held not to be a work for hire, I hereby assign and irrevocably agree to assign all right, title, and interest in and to such 'work' to 'company'"
Where work is code, deliverables, designs, patents, etc. The next section does say:
"if in the judgment of the 'company', any such 'work' does not relate to the business efforts or research and development efforts in which, during the period of my employment, the 'company' actually is engaged or reasonably would be expected to become engaged, this Agreement does not obligate me to assign such items."
which basically says that I can keep the rights to software that I don't create for them at their discretion. I'm basically looking to see if this is a fairly standard contract and if this is a sort of thing that could be used to bite me in the tail in the future.