I work as a software engineer on lots of research topics where I look into new technologies. These topics have intersections with my private interests which I research on my own time after work.

The software I produce during my working hours obviously belongs to the company but who owns the knowledge I gained during working. Aside from NDA contracts am I allowed to blog in my own time about these topics?

As requested here are some information about my employment: I work as a consultant at a large consultant company where I am employed with a salary. I am not personally responsible for the impacts of my work and my company provides the malpractice insurance. Furthermore there is no exclusivity of employment but my employer needs to notified if I work another job.

  • You would need to put more information for this to be adequately assessed, such as where you work, whether you have an employment contract or whether you are a sub, whether they pay any bonding or malpractice insurance (depending on type of software you produce), whether when you accepted the position, exclusivity was a term of employment ( this is usually true of salaries rather than hourly employees). – gracey209 Jan 29 '16 at 21:11
  • @gracey209 I updated the question – Lukei Jan 29 '16 at 21:17
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    I'm kind of confused as to what you are asking: are you trying to ask whether someone owns what you know? I mean, you'd have to look at your NDA and figure out what you can and cannot do. The knowledge that you get from working on the job can't effectively be owned by someone else. It's kind of unclear. That said, I'm never had a job in real life :P – Zizouz212 Jan 29 '16 at 21:18
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    Are you in the US? Based in the additional information you've supplied, It's still unclear because I don't know if you signed an employee handbook or have a contract. It may be that only the work you do in your capacity as a consultant is owned, since you're a sub. Or, to forestall competition or idea stealing, they may delimits this practice. That can only be controlled if you have an employment contract or employee handbook that you agreed to abide. – gracey209 Jan 29 '16 at 22:50
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    Even if there is language in a contract, or policies that say you cannot work for any other company, or sell your IP while working for them, it mayn't be enforceable; however, it may get you sued. You need to assess and be sure you're willing to take that chance. The courts generally frown upon agreements that strip an individual of making money honestly, unless it directly and specifically negatively impacts their (the plaintiff CO) business. If you have no contract or employee rules and regs, you're free to do what you want with your own IP on You're own time. – gracey209 Jan 29 '16 at 22:53

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