Does the company own all my ideas?


A company has the following contract. Does this mean if one is working on something in their free time while working for the company, even after they leave the company, the company owns the idea. Where is the line drawn? For example if I write a function (off the clock) to log a user in and latter use it in a website after leaving the company does this count? What if I simply write a file with <html></html> then, will every webpage I ever make be owned by the company? I am in Canada.

Contract Legal Intellectual Property

asked Feb 20 '13 at 19:36
1 point

3 Answers


Your contract means that everything produced during work time OR produced on company project is fully owned by the company.

What you can add in your contract is some code/dev projects made before starting working for the company. It's a legal protection for you and your existing codebase. This prevent the company to claim your work. But it's only for your past projects.

answered Feb 20 '13 at 19:41
350 points


Most company contracts cover intellectual property and it is the norm, that any work done on company time or on a project managed, funded, otherwise based on company resources also belongs to the company. Therefore if you are doing external projects its really important you don't use company resources (say the computer they gave you, or using that code library you developed for them) to prevent any blurring of lines if their is any doubt.

But it will depend on your contract and it might not just be IP bits many contracts also have a non compete clause so if you are working on your own projects while they may not be the intellectual property of the company may still be a breach of contract.

If your in any doubt have a lawyer check it over, also worth discussing it internally at the company how they feel about external projects and getting such thoughts in writing. In many companies the culture will be that external activity is expected and the norm, it may even be encouraged but its always worth checking first.

answered Feb 20 '13 at 19:55
Tim Nash
1,107 points


Actually I just looked this up here. Apparently all work created by the author remains copyright of the author unless the rights have been relinquished OR it was created under full-time employment at a company. In the former case the company is the author.

answered Feb 22 '13 at 09:50
Stephen P.
269 points

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