Call for lawyers: GPL Intelectual property protection
I'm starting at Microsoft on monday (its just for the money, no flames please)
as a contractor. Part of the contract I had to sign included the following
12. All ideas, inventions, creations, developments or improvements
(collectively "ideas") conceived by Employee, alone or with others, while
employed by the Company, whether or not during working hours, that are within
the scope of the Company's or Client's business or that relate to any of the
Company's or Client's work or projects are the exclusive property of the
Company or Client, as the case my be, all of the Employee's right, title and
interest in and to all such Ideas, and to any letters Patent, Copyrights and
applications therefore in all countries. Employee agrees, whenever required
by the Company and at the expense of the Company, to execute and deliver all
documents and do all things necessary for the Company to establish that all
Ideas are the exclusive property of the Company or Client. Employee agrees
not to divulge any Ideas to anyone and shall keep, maintain and make available
to the Company complete and up-to-date written records, including written
descriptions and drawings of all Ideas.
The previous paragraph of this Agreement does not apply to any invention for
which no equipment, supplies, facility, or trade secret information of the
Company or Client was used and which was developed entirely on Employee's own
time, and (a) which does not relate to the business of the Company or Client
or to the Company's or Client's actual or demonstrably anticipated research or
development, or (b) which does not result from any work performed for the
Company or Client.
Employee further agrees that while employed by the Company, all Ideas being
developed by Employee shall be identified to the Company promptly upon
conceiving such Ideas. Upon request by the Company, Employee will disclose
any such Idea to the Company (by a full and clear description) for the purpose
of determining the Company's and/or Client's rights therein.
I'm not a lawyer and not *too* familiar with all the intricacies of the GPL,
and thus, I want to make sure that the stuff I'm developing (primarily at
home, but I don't want Microsoft getting any ideas) is safe from any attempt
by Microsoft to seize control. While I have no intention of developing at
work (well... my stuff anyway), I don't want Microsoft to get wind of the
developement and have them decide to try and try something with this clause of
the contract. I *doubt* they would try to go into the mud server market, but
with Microsoft, you never can tell.
In the case that GPL does not protect against this type of clause, perhaps
someone can suggest a poison pill I can put into my license to protect it?
Thanks in advance for the help,