Employees, ex-employees and consultants - who owns their inventions?

Employment relationships are more fluid and complex than they used to be. The traditional model of a long-term employee paid to do inventive work throughout their career is less common than it once was. Research scientists and software developers may transition between employed status and consultancy, and often then go on to establish their own businesses. This can lead to real uncertainty as to the ownership of their inventions.

A recent court case between a software engineer and his former employer highlights the issues. Mark Pearce considers the case and what it means for employers and individuals here.

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