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> You can imagine the chaos that would result if any employee could state that, "no, that valuable IP that I came up with might have directly concerned what my employer was paying me to develop, but, in fact, I developed that particular key piece on my own time, etc."

The company has an even bigger fear: the employee will see where the market is heading, or where the company is heading, get there first in their spare time, and spin out a competitor. Or get a patent.

Owning spare-time IP that's related to the business seems reasonable to me. Of course, that assumes a good defintion of "related"...




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