Intellectual Property Law

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I co-authored two books with the Owner of a company that I…

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I co-authored two books with...
I co-authored two books with the Owner of a company that I worked for during my employment with that company. (www.servantheartsbook.com). The books were jointly copywritten by the publisher with his name and mine. He fired me last week and is now claiming that I cannot use the books in my future consulting work. Can I use them?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 59 minutes by:
3/6/2016
IP Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16,440
Experience: 15 years exp all aspects of general law
Verified

Hello there --

-

Did the books that you co authored have anything to do with your employment? For example, if you worked for a computer software company were the books explanation texts about computer software?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
It was a "playbook" for the culture that we are trying to create in the dealership. It introduced the components of a "servant hearts" philosophy.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I did all of the writing....
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
The content of the material were general leadership principles based upon the school of servant heart leadership taught since the 1970's....there were no trade secrets or anything like that...the same principles could be and have been used in other companies.
IP Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Hello again --

-

This is a close call. Generally speaking, anything you write or any intellectual property that you invent while employed by someone else belongs to the employer. However, because your name is ***** ***** the materials as a co author that means that your boss gave you some ownership rights to the materials and so I would suggest that you can use these materials for your own purposes. However, your former employer may try to sue you on this point using the same argument that I just presented to you here. Your strongest point is that you are listed as an author. If you are not listed as an author then I would say that the materials belong to your former employer, period.

-

MARY

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IP Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Hello there -- '

-

If you have no further questions for me on this matter, can you please press the middle star above so I will be credited for my time assisting you today?

THANK YOU

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