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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can I start a personal business while being employed if

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Hi, Can I start a personal business while being employed if my contract specifies that the intelectual property created during the emplyoment time belongs to the employer? Does this include working in my private time and in a different field than the employer's?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you going ro use anything from the current employer to undertake this work, like equipment, facilities, etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben,No, we'll use only personal assests (PC, etc) and only after business hours.Thanks,
Hello Costin, whilst such clauses are not uncommon and can be successfully enforce by employers, they are really there to cover IP created in the course of your employment with them. This does not mean the time in general you are employed by them, but the time you actually spend working for them. So if you were undertaking your duties with them and created something that is what they would try and get rights over. It would not cover work you have done in your own time without any use of the employer’s facilities or equipment. So do not think of this clause as covering anything you do whilst being employed by this employer – it is only there to cover things you do whilst you actually do work for them, like undertaking your contractual duties r using their services or equipment. Anything else is yours and they cannot realistically claim rights over it. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that. It was very helpful. Before we close this, can you please point me to some laws relevant to this topic or some documented legal precedents?
Many thanks!
For example with copyright, this is covered under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. In order to benefit from the statutory ownership provisions the employer must show that the work was created "in the course of the employee's employment". This means that here must be a link between the worker’s employment with this employer and the work that was created.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Very interesting. I was checking this legislation out but it looks like there are thousands of pages to browse through. Can please point me to the article that includes the paragraph about "in the course of the employee's employment?"
section 11:
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