California  |  Intellectual Property

Legal Question

Asked on: 10/19/07, 2:17 am

Ownership of a business idea

I have been working for a company for a year, and proposed an idea for a new (internet) product when I first started. Despite some initial enthusiasm, my boss eventually shelved the idea. I brought it up several more times, and even did a very small market test that said it would be successful, but she has still shelved the idea for various reasons with no clear intent about when/if we would ever implement it. Now, a year later, I brought up the idea with a friend, who is excited about it, and wants us to make this our ''weekend project.'' My question is does my current employer own this idea, because it was developed while I worked at her company? I don't think it's a patentable feature, but it hasn't been brought to market by anyone yet and there could be considerable ''first move advantage''. I'm mostly worried about being sued if the weekend project becomes successful and my employer wants to claim rights to it.

We operate in California but we are technically a Delaware corporation, if that matters.

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