Who owns what you produce on the job?

Who owns what you produce on the job?

Who owns what you create or produce on the job when you work for a company?

Who owns what and what are the rights to profits or creations from intellectual property?

This morning on one of my radio show interviews the story was shared about the recent college basketball recruit for Syracuse University. The story goes that the college recruit had his choices narrowed down to S.U., Duke, and then ultimately chose the University of Washington. Originally the athlete had been recruited by Coach Hopkins when Hopkins was at S.U. a couple of years ago. Since Coach Hopkins was here at S.U. when he made the first contact with the recruit, there’s question whether there is some sort of rights that can be claimed by the University.

Contracts are everything

If you have a contract with a university, or an employer, the contract typically states that anything you produce during your time of employment, that company owns. Say you’re a scientist for example, or you write things, publish research, your contract is going to say everything you did during your time at that company, the company owns.


People who’ve invented fabulous things while they’re working for a corporation, they don’t make any of the money. They get the fame because they developed it, but those patents and all the profits belong to the company. You do know that upfront and you signed a contract. You might get the acclaim, but you don’t get the money.

On your own

Now your book or research or any invention, all your crations that you create when you’re on your own, not employed by someone else, obviously that’s different. You reap all the benefits.


It’s important to note that all the electronics owned by the company – anything on those electronics is also property of the company. You have no protection, no privacy. Your company owns it and everything on it. It’s recommended to never use your company electronics for your own personal use precisely for that reason. It’s not yours. It’s theirs.