Alice has worked for an quango/academic organisation “The Establishment”, which is part of a larger “Wider Establishment” for some years. She was recently made redundant on pretty good terms and ended her employment on friendly terms with “The Establishment”. There is a bit of work that is in the interests of both Alice and “The Establishment” to complete and publish in a peer reviewed journal. To this end it has been agreed that Alice will have to desk space and high performance computing (HPC) resources to complete and write up this work, while receiving no pay or other compensation, other than the prestige of being author of said paper. As part of this Alice is required to sign a document that contains the following terms:
It is important for “The Establishment” as part of “Wider Establishment” to take ownership of all inventions arising from research in its establishments, and Visiting Workers undertaking research in “The Establishment” are therefore required, as set out below, to agree to assign to the “The Establishment” as part of “Wider Establishment” any rights they may have in intellectual property, and material arising from their research in “The Establishment”.
If, during the course of your period of work in “The Establishment”, you believe that you may have developed commercially exploitable technology please inform your supervisor, the “The Establishment” Director or local Technology Transfer Office (as applicable).
Income to “The Establishment” as part of “Wider Establishment” from licensing of inventions is allocated between inventors, the “The Establishment” budget and central “The Establishment” funds in accordance with the terms of the “The Establishment” Awards to Inventors Scheme.
Alice wants to initiate work in a different field as part of a potential startup business as the next stage of her career, with the intention of producing valuable intellectual property. No “The Establishment” resources are used in this work. Skills gained during the years of employment are essential for this work. Alice has the following work pattern:
- Month 1
- Works 9-5 5 days a week in the office
- Produces copyrighted work A, patent application X during evenings and weekends
- Month 2
- Spends a couple of days in the office setting of big jobs on the HPC which run for a month, at the end of the month spends a couple of days in the office processing results. Submits paper to peer review.
- Produces copyrighted work B, patent application Y during other days
- Month 3
- Comes in for 1 hour to celebrate papers acceptance at the end of the month
- Produces copyrighted work C, patent application Z during month
Which of these items of intellectual property could be claimed by “The Establishment”?