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UK: intellectual property rights - Help Needed Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 2:02 AM
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Hi all,

Recently i have handed my notice in and the company i work for has been notified that i do developments outside of work.

They have stated that all developments i do in and out of work are their intellectual property. I understand that anything in work would be theirs. However outside of work it is mine unless stated in my contract of employment (is how i understand it)

Now the development in question is an SSIS package which imports GPS data files (csv, xls, xlsx) and i am doing this in SQL Server 2012, in my own time with nothing gained from my current employment.


The company i work for is not on the 2012 platform nor is it in the business of dealing with GPS information. The reason i have been doing this is to get an understanding of the improvements in SQL 2012 over 2008 and to solve a problem with varying file formats and varying columns in files being processed by a single SSIS package. The GPS data is simply used because i can obtain this from my phone/GPS tracker log files easily and is vary large volumes of data to help measure performance. The end result of this would have been for me to bring any suggestions into my current work place and rollout as i have done before, many times.


So i am a bit upset that i am being forced to bring this code in as their intellectual property when
1. they do not use that db platform
2. they have no one else in the business who can understand SSIS/C#
3. i did this in my own time using no information or learnings from my current role to produce this.
4. It does not state in my current contract of employment that anything i develop in or outside of work is their intellectual property.



Hope I have explained myself well enough and i hope someone can help advise me on this situation.

Post #1322316
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 2:56 AM


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I would have thought that comes under 'Non-Commercial Research and Private Study', so should be of no interest to them.

There is an Intellectual Property Office website that may be of assistance - http://www.ipo.gov.uk/home.htm


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Post #1322324
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:12 AM
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Thanks BrainDonor.

i am definitely going to look in to that.

Your right it has no value to them what so ever. They don't even understand it let alone know how to use it. So to them it is worthless... i can just assume they are a bit ticked off that i am going and are now looking to cause me some pain
Post #1322351
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:57 AM


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Terry300577 (6/28/2012)
... and the company i work for has been notified that i do developments outside of work.


Unless they specifically asked that, I wouldn't have said a word about that. It's none of their business so long as you aren't violating an NDA or a covenent not to compete.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1322425
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:06 AM
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Jeff

yeah i made a very silly mistake. Learning my lesson now. Just had all my file from HR photocopied and there is no clause in any of it which states anything RE IPR :)

Post #1322540
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:14 AM


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My last contract was very restrictive in terms of IPR. Basically if I spent any time on personal projects in work, or using work equipment in any way, the IPR for the development work belonged to them. I also had to give back all information that the company owned on departure. I also needed written permission to engage in any external activity that could cause a conflict of interest with my employer.

However it is down to them to prove that you have material (your development) which they have a right to own. If someone else has told them this, it's basically hearsay, which means that unless you've admitted in verbally or in writing you can maintain a dignified silence and it's unlikely they'll be able to do much about it.



---

Note to developers:
CAST(SUBSTRING(CAST(FLOOR(NULLIF(ISNULL(COALESCE(1,NULL),NULL),NULL)) AS CHAR(1)),1,1) AS INT) == 1
So why complicate your code AND MAKE MY JOB HARDER??!

Want to get the best help? Click here http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ (Jeff Moden)
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Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:43 PM


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Terry300577 (6/28/2012)

Jeff

yeah i made a very silly mistake. Learning my lesson now. Just had all my file from HR photocopied and there is no clause in any of it which states anything RE IPR :)



If that's true and you aren't actually violating an NDA or Covenant Not to Compete and your independent development was done neither on compay time nore on compay equipment/software, you could just pretend that they don't exist and ignore them. The problem is, now that they are aware, that they could be dumb enough to try and sue your or place a restraining order on you. If this continues, you need to stop listening to us "sea-lawyers" and get a real one to protect you and your property. A real lawyer might be able to end it with a "Cease and Desist" order on your behalf.

{edit: spelling correction}


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1322675
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:53 AM
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Thanks everyone for some valuable advice. I have also learned a lesson and that's to keep my mouth shut, and that i knew there was another reason for handing in my notice..

Post #1324171
Posted Thursday, July 5, 2012 11:08 AM


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If that's true and you aren't actually violating an NDA or Covenant Not to Compete and your independent development was done neither on compay time nore on compay equipment/software, you could just pretend that they don't exist and ignore them.


In addition to what Jeff has already said, any communication in work duration / work environments by emails (official) or work phone is also property of your employer thus (if applicable) company has right to claim on the outcome (or revenue generated) of it. In fact if we go by definition, any idea expressed in written or verbally is company property.

It would be very complicated if your employer takes special interest in your own work. He would like to in-cash this opportunity. You must consult a lawyer if stress increases.



Dev

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