Understanding your workplace intellectual property rights

For those who are constantly creating new projects and ideas as part of their job, it may be unclear if these workplace creations are your own property or the property of the company. Utah workers should take the time to understand the laws that apply to intellectual property rights in the workplace. It’s the best way to protect your rights against employers who may violate them, whether intentionally or not.

Who owns your work ideas?

When a trademark or other type of intellectual property is created for a business and the individual who created it is compensated for the job, that IP is oftentimes regarded as the property of the company because they commissioned the idea. If you read carefully into any business agreements that you signed, you might find stipulations that apply to any intellectual property created during company time or using the company’s equipment.

It’s important to fully read through these types of business agreements before signing so you understand what you’re agreeing to. Once you’re aware of how legal ownership of your ideas will be viewed, you might think twice about volunteering your most beloved brainchild at the office.

Under intellectual property law, businesses are generally favored over employees. However, this doesn’t mean that employees are without rights. If you have a strong case, you can protect your intellectual property with the appropriate legal actions.

Intellectual property law is there to protect creative expression in its many forms. There are specific laws that protect the intellectual property of employees, but it’s important to know which rights you have and which you don’t. The answer often lies in your signed business agreement, which is where you’ll find whether the ideas you come up with at work are truly yours or if they belong to the company. Armed with the right information, you can protect your best ideas and potentially choose to save them for your time off.