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  1. #1
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Mt Macedon, Victoria, Australia
    Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts

    Intellectual property (Access any version)

    How much intellectual property is there in a typical (if there is such a thing) Access database?
    I sometimes work for universities that require me to sign a contract assigning them the intellectual property rights to the resulting database. The contracts are standard, and if you don't sign it you don't get the job.
    Yet at the same time, I would like to feel free to draw on any previous project I have done whenever I do a new project.
    I imagine that if the project involved something unusual, and a lot of time was spent developing custom functions you could argue that there was intellectual property in that, which belonged to the uni.
    But if the project involves applying standard techniques to a problem is it different?
    I realise this is really a legal question, and this is not a legal forum, but I imagine others might have faced this situation, and have some views on it.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Intellectual property (Access any version)

    That may be an unanswerable question ... unless you pay an attorney for an opinion, of course. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> One approach is to put your personal code, that is code you have already built and want to reuse, in an MDE library under a previous agreement with the university that they have no rights to the code in that library.

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Crystal Beach, FL, Florida, USA
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts

    Re: Intellectual property (Access any version)

    >>How much intellectual property is there in a typical (if there is such a thing) Access database?<<

    Hard to say. I'd like to think that my databases have considerable intellectual property value; but others may differ on my opinion of my work!

    But as an example. I have developed a menuing subsystem that includes a standard (configurable) report frontend that allows the user to select report critieria. This took alot of my time over the years to develop, and I'm not about to just assign the rights to someone! As Charlotte suggested, you need the advice of a lawyer. I'd work towards insisting on wording that exempts specific items from becoming their intellectual property; but placate the university by giving them a "right-to-use" for these items.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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