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Intellectual Property Traps and Opportunities for Employed Future Entrepreneurs Presented by Orin Laney, PE NCE firstname.lastname@example.org July 21 st , 2011.
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Intellectual Property Traps and Opportunities for Employed Future EntrepreneursPresented by Orin Laney, PE NCE email@example.com July 21st, 2011
Intellectual property law defines the legal essence of engineering. Upon creation, legal rights attach to every schematic, code listing, or other creative output.
These rights are the legal essence of engineering output. If a drive crashes or a prototype is lost, the work can be redone. But, if the legal rights are lost the code or prototype is worthless, even if securely in hand.
Manufacturing employees cannot stuff their pockets with product to keep at the end of the day. Similarly, engineers are proscribed in the use of their knowledge and creativity.
“I had an idea that I had developed on my own time over many years. My idea had not been written down or recorded in any way.”
While he was employed by DSC Communications of Plano, Texas (1987-1997), Brown mentioned the idea to his employer in 1996, who then decided they own the rights to Brown's thoughts
“DSC/Alcatel paid the lawfirm Lynn Tillotson & Pinker nearly $500,000 to litigate this case over the past seven years. I gained an education in the legal system, DSC/Alcatel gained nothing.”
“In January 2000 I filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a 5 year payout plan. DSC/Alcatel was one of the listed creditors and when the debts were discharged the other day, DSC/Alcatel's judgment against me for $332,000 was included.”
Work in Texas at your own risk
(b) To the extent a provision in an employment agreement purports to require an employee to assign an invention otherwise excluded from being required to be assigned under subdivision (a), the provision is against the public policy of this state and is unenforceable.
The United States is virtually the only industrialized nation that has not implemented a uniform pre-invention assignment agreement policy at the national level.
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