IP issues with moonlighting

IBM ybe57s
May 12 9 Comments

My employment contract gives ibm rights to all the ideas I have while working here. As long as it’s related to ibm’s business it’s theirs.

Technically it’s not related to IBMs business except that it’s technology and someday it might earn money.

Should I try to get a waiver for ownership of the project?

Or should I just not tell them and hope it doesn’t bite me in the ass someday?

I’d appreciate any tips/suggestions. I’m not in California so not covered by my State.

Worst case scenarios:
- I tell them, they say no, they block me from working on it. I get depressed and lose all drive. I get fat but live out the rest of my life with a decent salary until I die alone.

- I don’t tell them. the app gains traction. I get hopeful. I look for investors. they ask about it. I have to tell them. investors threaten to back out. I try to get rights from ibm. They take the app. Everything falls to shit. My gf dumps me for some other guy. I get fat and go through a long period of depression. I get diabetes from stress eating Reese’s pieces. Im unemployed and don’t have health insurance so can’t get insulin. I die alone but my app turns IBM around and puts them back on top. FAANG is now any anagram of IANG (Facebook and Amazon are irrelevant after being broken up by president Bernie Sanders)

Help me decide my future


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TOP 9 Comments
  • Expedia kjijkjijkj
    Why not just talk to a lawyer?
    May 12 4
    • IBM ybe57s
      Before or after I know if I have something with potential? I definitely plan on it, but want to get an mvp out and get some feedback before paying a lawyer.
      May 12
    • Expedia kjijkjijkj
      I mean if you're stressing this much about your work contract it would make sense to me to invest in some peace of mind now. Guess now or later would depend on if you think you'd try to build more similar things in the future if this first project goes kaput.
      May 12
    • IBM ybe57s
      Yep, you’re absolutely right. I don’t want this to slow me down. It would be good to get that peace of mind now and be more nimble in the future.

      Can’t hesitate with what if’s
      May 12
    • Intel / Eng CoryP
      OP, you can still see a lawyer for a one time consultation and they will tell you if there is or isn't a conflict of interest here.

      The consultation is usually an hour or so and free. Some might want like <$100 though
      May 12
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1


    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    Create an anonymous Delaware LLC
    May 12 0
  • Amazon PotatoSale
    I heard Microsoft allows you to moonlight. Maybe you should switch companies.
    May 12 1
    • IBM ybe57s
      Thought about, started working on it while employed by IBM so not sure that will help.

      I’ll be reaching out to an IP lawyer to get some options.
      May 12
  • IBM / Eng

    IBM Eng

    Install Gentoo
    I have the same problem. The only solution is to find another company to work for.
    May 13 0


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