[thechat] Intel says employees are chattel

Kevin Stevens kjs at ratking.co.uk
Thu Aug 15 17:48:00 CDT 2002

More ridiculous stuff :)

A US man says he will appeal a court's decision which ruled that an idea
that existed only in his mind belonged to his employer.

Evan Brown has been working on an idea to convert old computer code so that
it can be run on modern machine since 1975.

When Brown mentioned the idea to his employers while he worked for DSC
Communications of Plano, Texas (subsequently bought by Alcatel) DSC decided
it owned the rights to Brown's insight and demanded that he revealed his
idea. Brown refused and he was fired. DCS then launched legal action against
him to gain possession of his thoughts.

Almost six years later and Brown has finally been told by a judge that DCS
is entitled to his idea. He's also been told to stump up $332,000 in legal
costs. Throughout the legal process Brown maintained that he'd never written
down the idea, only solved part of it while employed by DCS and thought of
some of it outside office hours.

His former employer maintained that he had signed a contract which contained
a clause giving DCS ownership rights of any of his "inventions".

Brown's idea was deemed to be an "invention".

On his Web site Brown claims he's been "railroaded" and has vowed to appeal.

He also launched a scathing attack on the justice system in Texas.

Kevin Stevens
kjs at ratking.co.uk

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