My employer asked me to give up my intellectual property: what should I do?

If your employer has asked you to give up your intellectual property (IP) rights, it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations.

First, you should carefully review your employment contract and any other agreements you may have signed with your employer to determine if there are any provisions regarding IP ownership. If your contract is silent on the matter, the default rule in Ontario is that an employee owns their own IP, unless it was created in the course of employment, or the employee was specifically hired to create the IP.

If the IP was created in the course of your employment and your employment contract assigns ownership of such IP to your employer, you may be legally obligated to assign the rights to the company. However, if you believe that you have a strong case for retaining ownership of the IP, you may wish to consult with an IP lawyer for advice.

If the IP was created outside the scope of your employment, you likely retain ownership and your employer has no right to ask you to give it up. In this case, you may wish to negotiate with your employer to determine what, if any, compensation or other consideration will be provided in exchange for assigning ownership to the company.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced IP lawyer who can provide you with legal advice specific to your situation and help you protect your rights. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@falconlawyers.ca or 1-877-892-7778.

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