Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

Does the customer or design engineer own the designs? Schematics?

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dietert1:
I'm a freelancer in a similar situation. I do have a simple written contract, though.
Some years ago, when i returned from vacation, police showed up the next day. Their story was that one company i work for had asked them to break open our office building to check what is going on. Lucky enough police did not do that.

If there is no written contract, the legal situation may be undefined. Except, in order to advance the discussion the company could present testimony for a spoken agreement. If they can't, one would try to use legal patterns to understand what kind of relation existed. As far as i understand the relation wasn't "exclusive" for either side. If the company wants to aquire and give the IP to somebody else to try and continue, they should make an offer. Probably the IP already got lost, when the head behind it left.

Regards, Dieter

b_force:

--- Quote from: dietert1 on October 22, 2022, 06:50:57 pm ---the legal situation may be undefined.

--- End quote ---
That basically doesn't exist.
There are always default states in any law.
A few exceptions exist for very rare cases when very new technology is involved.
But that most certainly doesn't apply here.

Btw, IP is NOT the same as copyrights or right of ownership!

Interesting that police shows up in your example btw.
I guess that's maybe difference in how different countries operate.
Without any formal search warrant they don't have any legal rights to be in your property.
I don't really see how that could be done for something as simple a copyright infringement.
Still, that infringement still just has to be notified by letter to the person (or company) involved.

If a company has a problem with something, they have the formal duty to first and foremost inform those who are involved about it.
If those who are involved disagree with this, they can take that to court.
But you can't just take justice in your own hands and just randomly show up at peoples doorstep. (even less so without noticing)
Mostly because at that point the situation is undetermined, only a judge can tell who is right or wrong.

Only a judge can also give out such a search warrant anyway if they find it necessary when people aren't cooperating. 

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