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Legally speaking, merely mentioning it to your boss does not necessarily shield you from a lawsuit. It certainly reduces the likeliness though in my opinion (i.e., have no data).

Further, "employer's line of business" is very loosely defined. If you could share the technical skills between your job and the side project, you are most likely in the same line of business.

Here's a book I highly recommend: http://www.amazon.com/Intellectual-Property-Open-Source-Prot...

I've got my boss (well, actually the CEO) to sign a paper acknowledging the side project, and disclaiming any interest on behalf of the company. Hopefully, that counts for at least a little more.

You have a very progressive boss.

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