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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I co-authored two books with the Owner of a company that I

Customer Question

I co-authored two books with the Owner of a company that I worked for during my employment with that company. ( 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: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

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?

Customer: replied 1 year 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: replied 1 year ago.
I did all of the writing....
Customer: replied 1 year 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.
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year 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.



Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there -- '


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