Excel Spreadsheet IP
Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2024 11:28 am
I acted as a consultant for a company, where I was creating excel spreadsheet solutions for retail users. I signed a two year contract that at the end of it I would get 50% of the net profit from the sales the company achieved from my solutions over the two year contract period and at the end of the contract they would own the IP for the solutions. Due to personal circumstances I ended the contract at the end of year 1 (this was allowed in the contract), however I received no money for the solutions. The company stated that after their internal expenses against the products they were in a loss position. Whilst I fought this in emails, the end result was still no money. Eventually I reluctantly accepted that. What I want to know now is where I stand regarding the solutions I created and how much of the content/look of them is in the IP. I have a copy of the contract and an NDA both signed by me plus email communications. In a nutshell they are saying I cannot work with or poach their clients, which is fine. I cannot use any of the three solutions I created with the company with any other third party. I am in agreement with both of these statements. However, since the termination of the contract I have created brand new solutions for all three areas (because they are used universally in retail), these new solutions use slightly different formulas and algorithms, although some formulas which could be judged as mathematical formulas are the same. These new solutions are now designed to be used only as a consultancy with future clients and at present will only be used by me, they do a combination of additional/different functions although some of the functions are the same because they could be termed as functions a number of companies would create and use. What I really am struggling to understand is - If the new excel solutions I have created, can be judged as not breaking any agreements even though selected parts of the functions may both look the same and create a similar result, albeit the results will always be different due to the imported data used by the clients. I'm hoping this website is the right place for the detail above and how I move forward without breaking any IP agreements. I look forward to hearing from you.