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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I am about to sign for a new employee contact for a role in

Resolved Question:

I am about to sign for a new employee contact for a role in an energy and infrastructure company.
However in the near future I plan to start my own company to publish mobile phone apps.
The mobile apps have no relation to energy/infrastructure, and will relate to social media and gaming.
I have included the IP clause below, which seems to suggest that everything I build will be owned by the company even though its unrelated to the business of the company.
I have been researching online and I don't believe such a clause is enforceable unless the Intellectual Property can reasonably be considered to be in the area of business as the company. Am I correct? What rights/protection do I have?
Thanks!
Inventions and Copyright
You must immediately disclose full details to the Company if, in the course of your employment, you make or participate in the making or discovery of any innovation (including inventions, trademarks, trade names, designs, computer programmes, techniques or other works comprising intellectual property rights). You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights that exists (or which may be created in the future) in all such innovations and works shall automatically, on creation, transfer to the Company absolutely. If they do not wholly transfer automatically, you hold them on trust for the Company and at the request and expense of the Company you will promptly take appropriate measures to obtain full protection of any such intellectual property rights and to transfer the same to the Company or its nominee.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Just t confirm you re an employee rather than self employed?

Customer:

I will be an employee of the Energy/Infrastructure company, but I guess if I start an App company I would also be self employed. I am not sure whether the App company would be ltd or I'd do it as a sole trader.

Ben Jones :

Hello, you should not be too worried about this clause because this would only apply for inventions or copyright created ‘in the course’ of your employment with that company. This does not mean anything you do whilst you are employed by them, it would only cover things that are created whilst you are performing your job with them, so things that may get created whilst you are undertaking your duties for that employer. It will not cover things you have created in your own time, which are not done whilst you are performing your job, or if you did not use their resources.

So as long as you keep your other business interests entirely separate from the company, do it in your own time and using your own resources and not in company time, then th employer will have no right to claim over them.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Thanks thats great and what I thought :)

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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