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Re^5: Helping your former company

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Feb 25, 2006 at 03:23 UTC ( #532724=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^4: Helping your former company
in thread Helping your former company

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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