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Re^3: Helping your former company

by xdg (Monsignor)
on Jan 30, 2006 at 22:31 UTC ( #526592=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Helping your former company
in thread Helping your former company

Read Professional Employees and Works for Hire.

-xdg

Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.


Comment on Re^3: Helping your former company
Re^4: Helping your former company
by eric256 (Parson) on Jan 31, 2006 at 15:42 UTC

    Law is such a painfull thing because you never know who to beleive. ;) A quick search yeiled this resource which actualy shows that inventions created using work resources but not as the actualy goal of your employment can be claimed by the inventory. Though the inventor has to give the employer non-exclusive rights to *use* the invention. Logicaly it would seem the same would apply to software. Though I will admit logic and law arn't always the best of pals and Softare and invention arn't realy two terms that mix either. Then this article seems to support that same view as well. The inventor retains rights but the employeer gets the rights to manufacture and sell it without paying royalties. It is begining to seem like we need an IP Agent just to do any sort of creative work anywhere. ;)


    ___________
    Eric Hodges

      I think the first article has a quote to the effect of "in absence of an agreement to the contrary". That was my point. If the contract says they own it, and you signed it, then they own it. Thus, check your current contract before volunteering to help a previous firm.

      The wisdom of signing such contracts is a whole separate topic.

      -xdg

      Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

        Hmm. I read that to mean that the contract might remove all the companies claim, but in abscence of that it gives the company some rights. I can see now however that was a rather naive or uptopian way of looking at it. /me goes to get a copy of his contract from HR and see what it says. This is a rather interesting if not terrifying discussion. Kinda makes me feel like i do when I hear "Homeland Security", big brother is watching and knows best and in this case big brother is also your boss.


        ___________
        Eric Hodges
      Both of those articles are about patents, and they are about different countries.

      Despite being called "intellectual property", patents and copyrights have little to do with each other, and the rules can be quite different. Furthermore employment rights are frequently modified by contracts and state laws.

      Also despite both following "British Common Law", the USA and Great Britain have fairly different legal systems. You cannot assume that what is true for one is true for the other. (Nit: Louisiana does not follow British Common Law, but the other 49 states do.)

      You will not know what your rights are until you read your contract, your state law, and talk to a lawyer. Even then you might not know, because there are many gray areas that don't have clear precedents. (If there weren't ambiguities, then lawyers would have nothing to argue about in court...)

      Furthermore people who really can tell you are not inclined to do so, because if you misunderstand what they say, they may be liable for your misunderstanding! That is why you see people say "I am not a laywer" and/or "this is not legal advice". Because you are liable for giving someone bad legal advice. Even if the advice was perfectly accurate, but was just inapplicable because of some fact that the other person did not tell you.

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