Whose Property?

TitleWhose Property?
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHarris, CE, Pritchard, MS, Rabins, MJ
Publication Languageeng
Keywordscomputer , COMPUTER science , Confidentiality , ELECTRICAL engineering , Employer/Employee , Employer/Employee Relationships , Intellectual , Intellectual Property and Patents , Loyalty , software , software engineering
AbstractAt his previous job at a small computer firm specializing in developing software for management tasks, Derek was the primary contributor in designing an innovative software system for customer services. His former employer never asked him to sign an agreement that software he designed during his employment there became property of the company. However, his new company, a much larger computer firm, did. When Derek comes up with an adaptation that is likely to greatly improve the software system he designed at his old firm, friends ask if his plans to adapt this new system is unethical. Who owns this software system, his old employer, Derek, or his new employer?
NotesCase from Harris, Charles, Michael Pritchard and Michael Rabins. Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2000. Available from website http://www.bsyse.wsu.edu/pitts/be120/Handouts/cases.htm
Abbreviated Case NameWhose Property?
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