Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Putting your own spin on employment contracts

So it's looking like the job is going to happen -- they've given me a formal offer letter. I do seem to have surprised them, though, by responding with an addendum of my own: a codicil explicitly spelling out my existing inventions (CommYou, Querki, etc) that the company does *not* have any rights to. They don't seem terribly freaked, but my prospective boss did mention that nobody's ever done that there before. (They've got their HR dept looking at it now.)

It does lead me to wonder how many people actually do stuff like this. I've done it for a number of my past jobs, because it seemed like a good idea: the employment contracts at software firms tend to be pretty expansive in laying claim to anything you "invent" while you're working there, and I have enough personal projects that I dislike ambiguity in the matter. But I do get the impression I'm a tad weird in that -- both in the number of personal programming projects I have lurking in my head, and how much I care about making sure the IP is properly protected.

So I'm curious: have you ever amended an offered employment contract? How did they respond? It's something I do routinely, but I do wonder how much of an outlier I am...

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