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flyingdoc

Intellectual property and final salary

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First I must apologise for the length of this post - I have a couple of issues I need to ask about.

 

1 I started work for a claims managment company some 3 years ago - I was employed to get claims and process them in almost a sales and sales management role (initially I had a branch of the company in south wales as I was a friend of the owner of the company - i was also given a share in the company)- I noted the difficulties with the computer system, and so initially in my own time I began to start to write a computer system to ease this process.

About a year on - I was still working on this computer system, still outside of office hours and my "partner" suggested as things were getting tough - that we consolidated operations, i move to Manchester - and we set up an office there - where I was employed to manage the computer system.

Not only the web based system that I was writing but the office system, all the computer hardware and software and basically anything that needed power to work (telephones fax printers franking machine) were my responsibility. I continued to develop my program until about 2 yrs ago - the company started to use it.

I still continued to develop this softward - more in work time but since I had other duties ( and these were many and varied) I still continued to write at home (also less interruptions) until last month - when I decided I had had enough of this company (for reasons I will not go into ) and resigned.

 

Now 2 questins

 

1 Who owns the intellectual property of the computer software I spent the last 3 years developing - the company claim it is theirs as I developed it whilst being paid but I maintain that I put in a good deal of work outside of work hours.

 

also I am still awaiting my final pay - and my ex partner is avoioding my cfalls- says he will call me back and then doesnt. as most people do I live on a month to month basis and because I have not been paid at the due date - I am starting to get charges as direct debits are returned.:evil:

 

can anyone advise

 

 

And as a final note to the site team (if any are looking) - since I am no longer (and will never again) work in the claims managment industry - can I have my pm capablilty back please.....:rolleyes:

Thanks for looking.

 

FD


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

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Was the company Ltd?

 

The IP rights as I understand it will belong to the company. Usually this is written into an employment contract under inventions, patents etc.

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As per the last post, check your contract for any provisions relating to the ownership of any intellectual property. If there is not one then they will have difficulty claiming it is their property, I had the same problem with an academic when I was managing an IP department at a University. The academic claimed that they made the invention in the own time and their employment contract clearly stated that the University owned the IP developed during the course of employment which was translated as on University premises (by the Uni lawyer).

 

You could modify the code such that it becomes an improvement, you will then be clear of any claim that they may have.

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Good point but wouldn't the claim from the contesting org be from the grass roots of the program. On the basis you suggest, anyone who modifies a windows prog can claim the rights to windows??????

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The company WAS limited - but I never had any form of written contract


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

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Well then they have no rights to the software. Continuing to use the software in their premises would mean them paying you licensing fees atleast for the parts you wrote during your free time and when the company didnot expect you to write it.

 

Also , they can never claim to have instructed you to write it, since from the looks of it , you are an overall IT admin and as such the skills you needed for the job might not require programming experience(just my assumption, I might be wrong). The skills you built up for the reason of writing the new web system was your own decision and an investment from your side.

 

You should possibly evaluate the saleability of the software outside the company and if you do get a good deal for licensing of the software - you should inform that to the company so that they can decide what to do next . They cannot enforce any laws of IP protection on you, since you do not have a contract itself. All IP related discussions/emails should be recorded & preserved.

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Hi Flyingdoc

 

Generally speaking, if you are employed in a position where inventions / software design can well occur and you are employed to contribute in that way, an invention relevant to the field of your employment will be owned by the employer automatically. On the other hand, if you are employed in one area and invent something in a totally different technical area, it will normally be yours.

The Companies Act gives each shareholder in a company certain rights which vary depending on the percentage of shares in the company owned by the shareholder. Did you have anything in writing about having a share in the company?

I think at the moment it is best to review what was agreed, and how clear the agreement was.

Clarify how the other party has failed to live up to the agreement; consider to what extent you may have contributed.

Collate evidence, written contracts, correspondence and witness statements.

Try to negotiate an amicable resolution, keep evidence of negotiations including copies of letters and notes on conversations.

Assess the other party'sability to pay, by running a credit check including records of outstanding county court judgments.

If you have a strong case look at how clear the legal position and evidence are, and also remember the risk of a counterclaim or losing in court.

 

This could be very difficult to solve without an agreement between you in place.


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Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, please seek qualified professional legal Help.

 

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Update to this scenario

 

They have finally decided how much they are going to pay me - but are claiming they have no money - and may pay me something on friday - or may not.

 

I am now in trouble with bills and bank charges backing up and threatening calls coming through I should have been paid on the last day of june - they gave me just enough to cover my rent - they still owe me nearly 3k but by the time this is paid a good portion of it will be swallowed in charges and default fees.

 

What can i do?


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

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RBS Charges £3600 WON

RBS Unenforceable Loan £18500 Pending

RBS PPI on loan above Pending

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do you have source code / development tools on your home PC thats not at work? = proof of development & IP.

 

my claim to fame: my late father developed the beer widgit for cans and never got a penny. ho hum.

 

clockman

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Update to this scenario

 

They have finally decided how much they are going to pay me - but are claiming they have no money - and may pay me something on friday - or may not.

 

I am now in trouble with bills and bank charges backing up and threatening calls coming through I should have been paid on the last day of june - they gave me just enough to cover my rent - they still owe me nearly 3k but by the time this is paid a good portion of it will be swallowed in charges and default fees.

 

What can i do?

Open a parachute account ASAP and get them to pay you in that, even if it's just a basic card one, so you get your hands on your money before the banks do!!!

 

I hope you get this message in time. :-(

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Thanks bookie - good advice.

 

I actually managed to do a little freelance programming work so I made a bit of cash so now solvent again. but next month....

 

Considering taking these jokers to court for the outstanding - anyone got any comments?


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

Nat West Charges £1056 WON

RBS Charges £3600 WON

RBS Unenforceable Loan £18500 Pending

RBS PPI on loan above Pending

MBNA Credit Card CCA & SAR Sent

Co-op Credit Card CCA Sent

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Get ET1 form from the Employment Tribunal and put a claim in,doesn't take long and easy to do...bear in mind that you have only got 3 months sfrom the day you left.

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Any developments with this one?

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Got another job - (back into nursing) and now at least have an income.

 

Looking increasingly likely that the company will go under so I think its just lesson learned.

 

Thanks for all help and advice


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

Nat West Charges £1056 WON

RBS Charges £3600 WON

RBS Unenforceable Loan £18500 Pending

RBS PPI on loan above Pending

MBNA Credit Card CCA & SAR Sent

Co-op Credit Card CCA Sent

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Got another job - (back into nursing) and now at least have an income.

 

Looking increasingly likely that the company will go under so I think its just lesson learned.

 

Thanks for all help and advice

 

Thanks for letting me know. I know you're going to stay around the forums. I always enjoyed reading your posts, they are very informative.

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Now that i am no longer working for a claims management company, can i get my PM ability back please?


Opinions are offered in good faith based upon personal experience and research. Before making any irreversible decisions the opinion of a qualified, registered and insured legal professional should be sought.

 

If my advice or information has assisted you in any way - please click my scales.

 

thanks

 

Nat West Charges £1056 WON

RBS Charges £3600 WON

RBS Unenforceable Loan £18500 Pending

RBS PPI on loan above Pending

MBNA Credit Card CCA & SAR Sent

Co-op Credit Card CCA Sent

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Now that i am no longer working for a claims management company, can i get my PM ability back please?

 

I'll inform admin of the changes.

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