Re: FWD: Intellectual Property

Subject: Re: FWD: Intellectual Property
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 11:05:11 -0600

>Not a lawyer, not expecting legal advice from this list, just
>wondering: is it worthwhile rocking the boat to have them change that
>clause, or just leave it be and rely on it being highly unlikely that the
>company would deem my own work worth claiming and if they tried I can't
>see how they could win? (I live in the UK, but as I said, not asking for
>legal advice...)

Talked that over with a lawyer when I came to this place. I was working on
an intelligent home system in my spare time. I dropped the project because
the claims were murky enough to cause me some alarm.

This goes for US law, and the lawyer conversation happened some years back,
so it may have changed since then, but the problem for me was that the
company could claim that by hiring me it was providing me with the company
of intellectually stimulating people, and that this intellectual
stimulation would have contributed in a substantial way to whatever work I
did at home. Obviously this was arguable only in a court, and wouldn't be
binding unless enforced by a court, but I didn't relish the idea of showing
up in court to counter the argument, given the concomitant expense.

So I bailed. UK laws may not allow that argument, and your home projects
may be enough different from the company's projects to counter it. In my
case, a division of the company that I did not work at made building
control systems, so their interest in anything I might come up with would
have been higher than their interest in, say, a design for a new throw rug.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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