in general companies own all IP generated while you’re an employee. (…) and get a clear waiver relating to your game project. [/quote:a180dbfdab]
well to tell the truth, ive seen alot of contracts that state anything the person developers while under this contract is the property of the employer(BT operate this policy, so also most of the investment banks). (…) Apparently this exists because they claim they provided you with the skills so you could develop this app. [/quote:a180dbfdab]
It depends totally on the jurisdiction in which you will work and/or the jurisidction applicable to your contract say, your US-SF Havok employment could be under IE law, or your IE-Dublin Havok employment could be under US law, within provison of EC Human Rights Act, etc… it can get messy).
There is no statutory provision in the IE (Patent Act, at least – I’ll have to look up Copyright & Design Act to be sure) that what you create outside your employment belongs de facto to your employer, but (since IE is a common law -type of jurisdiction), the Court may let the employer enforce such a contract clause all the same.
There is such a statutory provision in UK (both in Patent Act and Copyright and Design, in which employer = commissioner). However, this clearly states that the employer only owns IP developed within the scope of the employment – i.e. it’s your job to create IP or you have a duty (of assigning your IP) to the company arising out of your position/job specification. Note that my comments in relation to IE (e.g. that the company does de facto own your IP unless in a situation as above) are applicable in the UK as supported by case law.
peter_b: case law in situations of contested IP entitlement (between employer/employee) indicates that skills acquired during employment are free for the employee to use/transfer as he sees fit, whether to create his own IP to which the skills provider would NOT be entitled (because not falling within the scope of the above statutes) or to create IP for a subsequent employer.
The difficulty is that your (intended) position -working for a games developer instead of a bank or network operator- would IMHO compound this “employer automatic IP ownership” in the UK, and proceedings in IE (wwherein the Court would in all probability follow UK decisions) would make the result same, despite lack of clear statutes about the situation.
So, friendly advice to a Forum member – if your own IP takes precedence (in your mind/decisions) over ‘working in the industry’, stick with Ericsson or a Bank or whatever not game-related and do your game in your time. If not, then shelve your IP for later, more affluent days… :)