IP clause in emplyment contract

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jmawebb
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IP clause in emplyment contract

Post by jmawebb » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:34 pm

I've just received a job offer. Of course the contract terms include an IP clause, but the wording bothers me. It claims ownership of all work created "during [my] employment". That seems like deliberately vague language that could be read to mean either "in the course of my employment" (which is reasonable), or "at any time while employed" including my own time (which is not reasonable).

I will be doing freelance and open source work in my own time, so I need to get this straight. I'm pretty sure the company in question is not going to want to re-word the contract for me. Does anyone know of any case law etc. which would clear this up?

Thanks

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:48 am

I pretty sure it is safe to say it means "during the course of employment" - i.e. as part of your employment with the company. This is after all a contract of employment - covering the terms of your employment with the company. I cannot see how they could ever justify a claim to work that is not directly related to your work for the company.

It is common for freelance contract to have such clauses, (without them, the company would not own the work they paid you to create), but I agree that the wording in this case could be more specific.

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