[Phpwm] Intellectual Property Agreements

Phil Beynon phil at infolinkelectronics.co.uk
Fri Sep 21 12:09:18 BST 2007

> Anyone been in this situation?
> One of my clients has asked me to provide a letter assigning them all
> ownership of the work I've done for them.
> Now, I'm quite happy for them to own the application in question
> (basically a shopping cart with extra knobs and go-faster stripes), and
> I understand their concerns (what if I get a job with another company?
> what if I approach one of their competitors?) but I want to be able to
> reuse code.
> There are also several paragraphs of boilerplate employee agreement
> which I've been asked to include, and am not very happy about.  For
> example, the company owns any "improvement in procedure"
> "Any discovery, invention, improvement in procedure, trade mark, design
> or copyright work made, discovered or produced by you in the course of
> your employment in connection with or in any way affecting or relating
> to, or capable of being used or adapted for use in connection with, the
> business of the Company shall be disclosed to the Company straight away
> and be the absolute property of the Company."
> Basically I want to say "you own the final application, I won't try and
> sell it to anyone else or take it away from you, but I can and will
> reuse techniques, code etc. in other applications for other people"
> How do other people deal with this?  Anyone want to recommend a solicitor?
> Bronwen

Hi Bronwen,

Are you working for them as an employee with a contract of employment or as
a contractor / freelancer?
I would have thought that it potentially could be a big difference in what
rights they have over any work you have done.

There are broader issues here that go beyond IP and copyright ageements; in
that if your job / trade is essentially denied to you via an agreement of
this nature then unless they are prepared to carry on paying you not to do
your normal job then they have very little rights over what you subsequently
do once employment with them has terminated.


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