Company's time, company's laptop, company's idea submitted to the internal innovation platform.

It was rejected by the corporate immune system:

We are to inform you that your idea has been Backlogged.

What does this mean – backlogged? This means we believe your idea has promise but we are not ready to advance it ourselves or send it to another team without further development. We, the board, would like you to present to us in person once you have had a chance to refine your thoughts.

It's pretty good, I'd like to work on it in my free time.

Due to my redundancy, I will have some free time and I'd like to pursue it.

I've explainer to HR that it is important to me, that I would like to have ownership of my thoughts but did not get any reply in that matter, only time pressure to sign my agreement.

What is the default law position? Is their "backlogging" gives me any rights or do they still own everything?

EDIT / UPDATE: No trade secrets. Everything based on publicly available information. I just happened to be exposed to PR messages and I realized I can do it much better (beyond public relations).

  • Since you are talking about "redundancy", I assume that you are interested in the UK, but can you clarify what country this is in regards to?
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 30, 2020 at 13:25
  • Only a local attorney can advise you on the specifics of the agreement the company wants you to sign. That is is "important to you" is immaterial.
    – Tiger Guy
    Mar 30, 2020 at 19:23
  • There are no specifics of the agreement. I'm asking about the defaults in the UK 🇬🇧jurisdictions. I've asked HR directly, I said it is important, they ignored me. No answer. That's why asking about defaults. Apr 1, 2020 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


"Backlogged" has no legal status. Under usual contract terms, all intellectual property you generate as part of your employment belongs to your employer. But "intellectual property" is a category of rights, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights. An idea by itself is not intellectual property. "Wouldn't it be great if ..." cannot be owned by a company.

However, specific ideas can be trade secrets, and trade secrets are protected. It's likely that your idea is a trade secret, if the idea applies to the sort of business that your ex-employer is involved in. The fact that it's called promising by the company reiterates that.

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