Common sense may dictate ownership of IP (inventions, writings, artworks, etc.) yet it is commonly a litigated issue. Here are some general tips on figuring it out.
- If you are an employer of an employee – you likely own the the IP of your employee.
- If you are an employer of an employee who created something outside the scope of employment – you likely do not own it.
- If you are an employer of an independent contractor – you may not own the IP unless specified by contract, but even then, unless drafted properly, you still may not own it.
- If you think you should own the IP, you may not!
To understand the employer-employee relationship, take a look at the landmark case of Barbie v. Bratz case.