Can the work that I do after termination of my employment become intellectual property of my former employee?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can the work that I do after termination of my employment become intellectual property of my former employee?

I left a for-profit educational company. My contract with the company
contained a lot on intellectual property and non-competing. While still
working for the company, I applied to present at a professional
conference, and my application was accepted.
The development of the presentation is going to happen completely after
the termination of employment.
Are there any possible legal consequences of my presentation?

Asked on October 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF the contract you signed still gives your former employer rights over intellectual property (IP) you develop post-employment,, then--subject to the precise terms of that agreement--the former employer would own your IP, because in that case, you contracted away your rights. But if the contract only applied to IP developed while employed, the former employer would only have rights to it if it could be shown that you in fact developed it (or significant parts of it) while employed or through the use of company resources and materials.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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