Hackernoon logoWho Owns TotesRad? by@josheverett

Who Owns TotesRad?

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@josheverettJosh Everett

Background: Employment contracts/agreements at tech companies, both small and large (such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft), include clauses stating that any inventions or intellectual property (that may be of business interest) created by employees belong to the company. These clauses are generally interpreted to mean that the creation of such inventions or intellectual property on company time vs. personal time and/or on company equipment vs. personal equipment is irrelevant to the company’s ownership claim to the creation.

Three Google employees, in a Google office, are having a discussion about current events. One of them exclaims “This gives me a great idea for a new product! It will have such and such Feature A, such and such Feature B, and such and such Feature C! We’ll call it TotesRad.”. The three employees proceed to develop TotesRad on their own time, using their own equipment.

Such and such Features A, B, and C are relevant to Google’s business interests. TotesRad unambiguously belongs to Google.

Three Google employees, in a public park on the weekend, are having a discussion about current events. One of them exclaims “This gives me a great idea for a new product! It will have such and such Feature A, such and such Feature B, and such and such Feature C! We’ll call it TotesRad.”. The three employees proceed to develop TotesRad on their own time, using their own equipment.

Such and such Features A, B, and C are relevant to Google’s business interests. TotesRad unambiguously belongs to Google.

A Google employee, an Apple employee, and a Microsoft employee, in a public park on the weekend, are having a discussion about current events. The Google employee exclaims “This gives me a great idea for a new product!”.

“I know exactly what you’re thinking!” replies the Apple employee.

“Samesies! It will have such and such Feature A.” says the Microsoft employee.

“And such and such Feature B!” the Google employee adds.

“And of course such and such Feature C! We’ll call it TotesRad.” says the Apple employee.

The trio exchange a short volley of exuberant high fives and fist bumps before succumbing to the existential fears of providing for a family of four in the Bay Area. The three employees proceed to develop TotesRad on their own time, using their own equipment.

Such and such Features A, B, and C are relevant to Google’s, Apple’s, and Microsoft’s business interests.

Who owns TotesRad?

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