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Intellectual Knowledge

Let's say that I acquired knowledge of a business process during a period that I worked for a certain company.  I later leave said company. 

Can I develop my own product that would compete with this product? or are there laws against it.  (Not sure what the proper legal terms are.)

I did not sign any agreement stating that I can't or that I won't use any of my knowledge gained.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Do they have a patent on the business process in question? It's stupid that such patents exist, but these days the questions need to be asked.

Otherwise, as long as you don't have a non-compete contract of some sort, and no confidentiality agreements, you should be in the clear.

But the best answer is - ASK A LAWYER, not some idiot on a software board. :-)

Chris Tavares
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I second the ASK A LAWYER advice, 100%

Good luck,

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Unless you signed a non-compete agreement or a patent exists, you're free to pursue your dreams as you please.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

... but talk to a lawyer first.

No offense ...
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

use the knowledge you gained unless it is a word for word recipe. Chances that you get sued are slim.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Yeah, do the lawyer thing first.

Ever hear of Percy Spencer? Probably not, but you've heard of his invention: The microwave oven. One would think that that kind of invention would make him a zillionaire. But it didn't.

Trouble was, Percy came up with the idea while working for Raytheon. Raytheon sued claiming that the idea was theirs since he came up with it while working for them and was using their equipment when the idea hit him. A court agreed with Raytheon.

Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard and a host of other engineering companies have filed similiar suits against folks who came up with ideas on their own, but the companies said that they wouldn't have if they hadn't been working for the company.

I know, your situation involves business process knowledge, but you probably get the idea that it can get dicey, so go back to advice #1: Consult a lawyer.

Go Linux Go!
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Yes, you have every right to develop a competing product using your knowledge of a business process and also your knowledge of the work you did.

Forget the advice to see a lawyer. Lawyers are greatly overrated on internet discussion boards. Read a book and you will know more than most lawyers about the law relating to IT.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

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