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   Potential Employer - Employee Ownership Dispute
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   Author  Topic: Potential Employer - Employee Ownership Dispute  (Read 901 times)
Aaron H
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Potential Employer - Employee Ownership Dispute
« on: Nov 16th, 2005, 4:31pm »
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I've written a computer program that will be immediately useful to the company I work for and very likely sell-able to several other similar organizations.
 
I spent 70% of the time developing this away from work.  Of the 30% of the time spent developing this while at work, most was during lunch or after work hours.
 
I have signed no agreements of any kind.
 
I continue to find the crux to be where the work was completed (home or office), but I can't find any discussion of work being done both at home and at work.  Who owns the program?
 
The program has also been developed in "modules", smaller pieces of the program.  As a fallback, can I at least lay claim to the modules I provided while working at home?  The remaining modules would be useless withhout them, and this might force the 50-50 joint copyright I'm seeking.
 
Thanks for any thoughts...
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Potential Employer - Employee Ownership Disput
« Reply #1 on: Nov 16th, 2005, 8:24pm »
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The true situation is more complex than you assume.  The crux is not whether or not you did work at home, but whether the work was within the scope of your employment.  The analysis is not all of that simple, but if you are on the wrong end of things, your employer could own the rights to the entire program including the copyright of all of the modules.
 
I'd suggest telling the entire tale to an attorney in a confidential setting.
« Last Edit: Nov 16th, 2005, 9:07pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
Aaron H
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Re: Potential Employer - Employee Ownership Disput
« Reply #2 on: Nov 17th, 2005, 8:14am »
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Isaac,
 
   Thanks for the help.  I have found no good web definitions of "scope of emplyoment."  Do you know of any resources?
 
   For what it's worth, I'm in sales/management, not programming, and I have no job description.  What I've created was certainly not expected by any means, but it does have a direct company benefit and was conceived of initially for company use.
 
   Thanks again.
 
Aaron
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