Re: FWD: Intellectual Property

Subject: Re: FWD: Intellectual Property
From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 9:39:9

Anonymous writes:
[...]"I have just got my contract of employment (moving from contract to
permanent work at the same company) and noted that the intellectual
property section requires everything I do while employed by my company to
become the property of the company. I do a fair bit of writing outside the
company. It's unrelated to the work I do *for* the company (not even in the
same ocean, let alone the same boat)."[...]

I'd definitely ask for clarification from the employers, and if it's a
matter of interpretation, try to get something in writing to explain
(/verify) the interpretation, just as a backup. I questioned my recruiter
on a similar constraint, just as you are questioning it now.

My current position has a similar caveat, in a non-conflict-of-interest
bent, so it includes any work of the type I am contracted for, but not a
different type; for example, I can't do technical writing for someone else
while I'm doing it for the company I'm contracted with, but I _can_ do
freelance graphic design, database/application design and development, and
creative or journalistic writing as much as I want to, and they won't have
a legal claim to it.

Check with your HR or legal reps to get clarification of that passage, and
then if it is still too restrictive, you may want to check with your local
laws to see what constraints employers may impose upon you before
addressing the issue with the employer -- I've heard some places have laws
preventing an employer from interfering with an employee's ability to
moonlight at another job, but I've only heard it secondhand, so it may or
may not be applicable.

Good luck!

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