Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Virginia

I work in the Parts Department at an RV store. Recently, I created a parts menu for new rv owners. We were using another company, but they fell through and so my boss asked me if I could make something to supplement the old flyers. I made the template, from scratch, and now they are being printed and used by the hundreds. Since then, my boss and her boss have asked me to make several other items (more flyers, catalogs, etc.) Some of these are even being used in our other stores. Are these designs my property, even though I was asked to make them, and made them for my company? Nothing in my work contract has to do with graphic design, I was only hired to run the Parts department.

Asked on 4/04/18, 12:38 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

Well, the issue is that EVEN IF you could argue that the underlying IP created still rests with you because the default work-for-hire laws do not apply given that this was clearly outside your scope of employment, by virtue of providing the work you still afforded them an implied license to use it for all its intended purposes and this cannot be frustrated by you like for example using it to complete with them or licensing it another competitor. You may have other non-competing uses for it of course that you would presumably be able to take advantage of.

If you need more clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

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DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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Answered on 4/04/18, 12:55 pm

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