Recreate idea from previous client Recreate idea from previous client
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  1. #1

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    Default Recreate idea from previous client

    I have a question in regards to IP and what it would mean for me and the company involved.

    I did some development contract work at CompanyA for about a year and have since moved on elsewhere for 6 months.

    Whilst working at CompanyA I was involved in designing and developing a central framework idea to be used throughout all systems/services. I want to now re-create that framework idea as an open-source project in my spare time as I believe it is actually a really good idea and others will benefit massively from using this.

    Are there any issues with me creating this framework as open-source, the code will be re-written from scratch.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Richer than sasguru

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    Question is, for a business point of view, what's in it for you and your ltd company doing this?

    If someone from your old client sees what you have done and passes it on to their legal dept, there is some risk you are sued for damages, and what is the upside in that?
    SARS-CoV-2 - Finally something from China that still works as designed.

  3. #3

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    There will be no direct money to be made from this framework, I won't be selling or trademarking it as it will be open-source. I may put up a donations page if it gets used on a big scale.

    I guess what I get out of it is the ability to use it within my software, and stop duplicating work each time I want to build a service.
    Also to become a bigger part of the open-source community.


    It's only an idea for a framework that I am using, like I said no code will be re-used (impossible anyway as I have since left and don't have any access)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy952 View Post
    I have a question in regards to IP and what it would mean for me and the company involved.

    I did some development contract work at CompanyA for about a year and have since moved on elsewhere for 6 months.

    Whilst working at CompanyA I was involved in designing and developing a central framework idea to be used throughout all systems/services. I want to now re-create that framework idea as an open-source project in my spare time as I believe it is actually a really good idea and others will benefit massively from using this.

    Are there any issues with me creating this framework as open-source, the code will be re-written from scratch.

    Thanks in advance.

    this is complex.

    Do you believe you have stolen their IP?
    Or do you believe that the idea wasn't unique, therefore they cannot have any claim over similar?
    Did they patent it? If not then they have far less legal weight.
    Did you steal/use any of their code, whether you wrote it for them or not.
    Is the systems a revenue generator for them or just an internal/back-office tool?

    At the end of the day, this is about whether you personally have taken an idea that is theirs and are stealing it. Read your contract for IP details and see how what you want to do fits with that. I suspect that the IP clauses will not be time limited.

    If this makes a tulip load of money then you might have a problem.
    If it is successful and and harms their business by providing a an alternative then you might have a problem.

    It's a very grey area and one where laywers make a lot of money.
    See You Next Tuesday

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy952 View Post
    There will be no direct money to be made from this framework,
    That's not relevant. Will it harm their revenue/profitability?
    See You Next Tuesday

  6. #6

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    This is a grey area. Generally recreating something isn't a problem if there is no patent. However if you developed something for a company then recreating it would be almost indistinguishable from copying the source code and modifying it to look different.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Do you believe you have stolen their IP?
    Or do you believe that the idea wasn't unique, therefore they cannot have any claim over similar?
    The idea isn't unique there are other tools that exist with different languages, these are 2 that are similar but not as in-depth as what I have planned:
    FastAPI
    Just-API

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Did they patent it? If not then they have far less legal weight.
    No patent for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Did you steal/use any of their code, whether you wrote it for them or not.
    I haven't started this yet, I won't be stealing any of their code directly.
    But I wrote 95% of the code when I worked there, so can re-write most of it from memory as I also designed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Is the systems a revenue generator for them or just an internal/back-office tool?
    Neither, I can go into full details of what it is, but it is just a coding framework that would be used in internal/back-office tools for any company or individual creating APIs.
    Similar examples are: Entity Framework/Swagger/Moment all are open source frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Will it harm their revenue/profitability?
    No it won't
    Last edited by andy952; 13th July 2020 at 12:37.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy952 View Post
    The idea isn't unique there are other tools that exist with different languages, these are 2 that are similar but not as in-depth as what I have planned:
    FastAPI
    Just-API


    No patent for it.


    I haven't started this yet, I won't be stealing any of their code directly.
    But I wrote 95% of the code when I worked there, so can re-write most of it from memory as I also designed it.


    Neither, I can go into full details of what it is, but it is just a coding framework that would be used in internal/back-office tools for any company or individual creating APIs.
    Similar examples are: Entity Framework/Swagger/Moment all are open source frameworks


    No it won't
    sounds like you're good to go.
    Just check the contract for any restrictions over and above what is normal, and press on.
    See You Next Tuesday

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlasterBates View Post
    This is a grey area. Generally recreating something isn't a problem if there is no patent. However if you developed something for a company then recreating it would be almost indistinguishable from copying the source code and modifying it to look different.

    This is my concern, because I developed pretty much all of it whilst I was there, when I do come to re-coding this, it will most likely be indistinguishable. There is no way to prove that I didn't steal code IMO

  10. #10

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