Intellectual Property

This is a discussion on Intellectual Property within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I work for a large telco company called TELUS in Canada, I wrote a couple programs that would automate some ...

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    Question Intellectual Property

    I work for a large telco company called TELUS in Canada, I wrote a couple programs that would automate some of their processes (at home). I want to sell them to TELUS. If I tried to sell them, would they be able to just take them because I thought of the ideas while I was at work? How would I go about selling them?

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    No Genius That's For Sure
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    I'll throw out a couple thoughts- though I am no expert and I live in the U.S.

    I would think that what you do on your own time, using your own hardware and software is yours. (Unless you are under a contract that stipulates otherwise-- but I would think that if you were, you would not be posting this question)

    The selling part could be tricky though, depending upon the nature of the work you did.

    If it is some kind of standalone app- that would probably be the easiest because you could present it as a product available for purchase on its own merits.

    If it is something that can be a small piece or enhancement of a system that already exists at your work the waters get very muddy.

    Is the benefit it creates enough to make it worth purchasing?
    Is it something you could ever build w/out the knowledge you have gained as an employee?

    And a big question I would ask myself- is the monetary return you would get (if they bought it) worth more than the gain from doing a bang up job for the company, impressing the boss, whatever.

    On the flip side of that- is there the possibility of negative repercussions from trying to sell this to the company? How does it paint you in regards to being a team player, etc. Office politics are an ugly reality, but a reality none the less.

    And I just thought of this- if you are an exempt employee (that's the term here anyway- for someone on salary as opposed to hourly wages, among other things) then things are also a little more confusing. What's the difference between taking work home and doing your own work at home?

    If you trust your boss, I would sound him/her out first and see where it goes.

    My two cents.
    He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.

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    Thanks Theologian

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    The precedance set in the U.S. is unambiguous. Almost every attempt to keep the copyright of ones code has been defeated. The lesson: Sell it to another company!(...but long after you leave your employer!)
    Code:
    #include <cmath>
    #include <complex>
    bool euler_flip(bool value)
    {
        return std::pow
        (
            std::complex<float>(std::exp(1.0)), 
            std::complex<float>(0, 1) 
            * std::complex<float>(std::atan(1.0)
            *(1 << (value + 2)))
        ).real() < 0;
    }

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    Im on a contract that is up in a couple months anyways, I was thinking of selling it to them when my term was up. (trying to anyways) The little programs that I made, simple as they may be would be worth alot to the people who run my department. The ones I made are simple, the real program I'm working up to building is way more complex and since I'm somewhat new to programming im not quite at the skill level to develop it. I just need to learn how to accept input from another computer and display it in a console that would give key commands. Ive researched pipes on the MSDN site and they look like something I need to practice a bit more on. Thanks alot for your input into my thread. It's greatly appreciated.

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