Site icon Duncan Bucknell

She's left the company – is that her IP or ours?

Jarrod Ritchie, founder and chief executive of Australian-based TPI
Enterprises
has hit the headlines recently because of his dispute with GSK, his former employer.

The dispute, which will be heard by the Victorian Supreme Court next month, centres on allegations by GSK that Ritchie has misused confidential information of GSK’s in setting up his narcotic manufacturing facility with a process that he says is completely new (and for which he has filed provisional patent applications).

In Ritchie’s words, “Our extraction process is quite
different. I have taken nothing from Glaxo other than experience and we are
confident of winning the case.”

Here are a couple of great questions raised byJoanne Sinclair, Consulting Editor here at IP Thinktank. I’ve added some bullet points below each question to stimulate discussion.

1) How do companies manage their IP and HR strategies to retain
talent and innovation (and ideally avoid clashes)?

2) Does the use of knowledge and/or experience gained as an
employee to create intellectual property (after employment) give any rights to the employer? If
so, what are they?

Overall, you need to be rewarding employees in a way that is comensurate with their IP-generation output. Otherwise, they’ll leave and either go to a competitor or set up in (semi) competition, armed with some pretty impressive inside knowledge – even if they choose not to use it directly.

What do you think?

(Thanks to my Consulting Editor, Joanne Sinclair for this interesting piece.)

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