I am a computer coder / algorithm developer and am just getting started in industry where I know I'll have to deal with IP agreements. In particular, the question I'm asking here came about because I was set to go ahead with a company funded masters project writing code and developing algorithms.
The IP agreement for this project felt so restrictive to me that I (sadly) ended up declining the project. It essentially said that all copyright, patents, know-how, etc. would belong to the company.
The main reason I declined was because I thought it could give me problems later on if I were to work for a different company applying similar algorithms, potentially for a similar purpose.
For argument sake, let's say there were no patents; would I be able in the future to write code for another company that used similar algorithms, expressed in slightly different terms (noting that there only so many ways you can actually code up these algorithms)?
As an aside, I'd love if you could give me, someone just starting in industry, some advice on how to navigate this topic of IP, especially noting that these contracts can feel rather vague/ambiguous as to what you're actually allowed to do after completing the project. I understand I'll probably eventually just have to bite the bullet and be ok with signing this sort of thing if I want to get a job.