Intellectual Property and Day Jobs


I run a small tech company providing custom web development (in Ontario, Canada), and I have a few clients. However, as I am still a student in university, I have co-op positions that I take every couple months. Now, some of the contracts I sign claim IP for anything I do during my time at the company, at work OR at home. That is all well and good normally, but my question arises when I wonder about my company's IP.

Basically, if I do work for a company as a "day job" and I sign over IP of anything I do during that time, does that apply for things I do for my company as well, or does my company still own that IP? I am a little hazy on the laws regarding this subject, so if someone could clear that up it would be great. Thanks!

Contract Day Job Legal Intellectual Property

asked Dec 6 '11 at 08:50
Super Tron
108 points
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  • Have you ever heard of the fact that laws are dependant by country, possibly even byl ocation within a country? if no - lesson learned. Still we need to know where you are legally to even consider answering that. – Net Tecture 12 years ago
  • My mistake, added that info, thanks for the tip. – Super Tron 12 years ago

1 Answer


This is discussed in other places, including here.

Your first action should always be to ensure that your employer is OK with you doing this outside work. Unless you are doing work that is competitive with what your employer does, most companies are. But it's much better to get their agreement - in writing - up front than to rely on proving that the contract you signed doesn't apply in your case. Even if you can prove it later, you'll end up spending money on lawyers, and forever killing your chances of employment with that company.

answered Dec 7 '11 at 02:16
Dj Clayworth
228 points

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Contract Day Job Legal Intellectual Property