Ok, they’re really not. I just signed an agreement at work assigning ownership of all intellectual property created by me in the course of doing my job to my employer. Pretty standard, really, but the initial draft was a little too biased in the company’s favor.
As written, the initial draft assigned ownership of all intellectual property created while I was employed to the company. I write software for this company, but if I wrote a romance novel or developed a new water filtration system, it would belong to the company. I understand my employer’s need to protect its property but the fact that document was presented to me with that clause indicates a lack of respect and/or understanding of what software developers do.