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Old 11.11.2016, 23:37
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IP question while under contract and side project

Hi forum gurus I have a question for you. I'm under contract and the contract in the "Work results" point states:

"The Employer or Assignment Unit is entitled to all material and intangible results which are achieved by the Employee in exercising this Employment Agreement.
Copyrights and other legally protected intangible property rights shall be transferred by the Employee to the Employer or the Assignment Unit. Included herein are in particular all the protected usage and personal rights pursuant to Arts. 9 - 11 Swiss Copyright Law (URG)"


I'm also working in my free time in a personal project that has nothing to do with my day job, really zero. From the legal clause above I don't get whether the intellectual property of the side project I'm working on "shall also be transferred" to the Employer ???
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Old 11.11.2016, 23:40
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Hi forum gurus I have a question for you. I'm under contract and the contract in the "Work results" point states:

"The Employer or Assignment Unit is entitled to all material and intangible results which are achieved by the Employee in exercising this Employment Agreement.
Copyrights and other legally protected intangible property rights shall be transferred by the Employee to the Employer or the Assignment Unit. Included herein are in particular all the protected usage and personal rights pursuant to Arts. 9 - 11 Swiss Copyright Law (URG)"


I'm also working in my free time in a personal project that has nothing to do with my day job, really zero. From the legal clause above I don't get whether the intellectual property of the side project I'm working on "shall also be transferred" to the Employer ???
Yes, it's quite common, your employer owns ALL your work
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:00
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Yes, it's quite common, your employer owns ALL your work
Then how does it work in reality when an employee quits a day job because he achieved a successful e.g. .com business running? He gets sued by the ex employer claiming ownership of the ex-employee new .com business?
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:07
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Then how does it work in reality when an employee quits a day job because he achieved a successful e.g. .com business running? He gets sued by the ex employer claiming ownership of the ex-employee new .com business?
It could easily happen. You accepted the terms of the contract when you signed it........
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:10
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Then how does it work in reality when an employee quits a day job because he achieved a successful e.g. .com business running? He gets sued by the ex employer claiming ownership of the ex-employee new .com business?
yeah. he normally negotiates his contract to specifically exclude work done on his own time. and better still. quits, lays low for a year before surfacing with what he did during the year off :P
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:19
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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yeah. he normally negotiates his contract to specifically exclude work done on his own time. and better still. quits, lays low for a year before surfacing with what he did during the year off :P Without having spoken to anyone about the latter plan in a public internet forum ahead of time.
ftfy
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:30
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

well then no side projects ... the thing is it would have been possible negotiating this point in the contract but this would somewhat jeopardize the day job in the first place because they want long term and they would potentially deduce that I'm trying to create a business or a side income.

OK but one thing is the theory, another one is in practice. How many ex-employees are sued because of quitting and running a business? I know several ex colleagues that did just that. It seems impossible to prove that you were at home building up something to then open up a business from day one after quitting or?
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Old 12.11.2016, 00:38
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Then how does it work in reality when an employee quits a day job because he achieved a successful e.g. .com business running? He gets sued by the ex employer claiming ownership of the ex-employee new .com business?
My experience is it depends on the size of your company and your manager's attitude. Larger firms won't care especially if it doesn't relate to their core business (which you typically wouldn't be allowed to pursue in any case in regular contracts). However (regardless of firm size), if your manager or another colleague has some "beef" to settle with you and learns of the potential or success of your invention, product or service, they could pursue you and even in the event that you won the case, they could deliberately ruin you financially just to make a point. That said, my advice would be for you to sit down with a lawyer to understand your rights and regardless of what you learn, take the leap and don't let it stop you. All the best with your project
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Old 12.11.2016, 02:05
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

I strongly disagree with the gist in the replies. The employment contract is on work hours only, say 40 hours per week. This is why the paragraph starts with:
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"The Employer or Assignment Unit is entitled to all material and intangible results which are achieved by the Employee in exercising this Employment Agreement.
What you do with the remainder of your time is completely up to you, OP (provided it doesn't keep you from fulfilling your duties as an employee during regular work hours). As a consequence the employer has no business meddling with the products produced during off hours, provided they don't significantly interfere with or contravene employer's business interests.

It's ridiculous to claim that, say, someone working IT for a bank who has knitting as a hobby, owes all knitting stuff produced during off-hours to the employer. Around here slaves are a thing of the past (perhaps of the future), but not of the present.
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Old 12.11.2016, 06:27
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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... in exercising this Employment Agreement.
Surely that's the key phrase...I've seen similar conditions worded much less favourably to the worker, but this seems to restrict the scope to activities related to the agreement rather than all activities during the period of the agreement.
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Old 12.11.2016, 07:31
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Re: IP question while under contract and side project

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Surely that's the key phrase...I've seen similar conditions worded much less favourably to the worker, but this seems to restrict the scope to activities related to the agreement rather than all activities during the period of the agreement.
Agreed. My previous employer had a clause which felt much less restricted than this one; thus one feels quite fair and obvious.
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