Orrtanna, PA asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Can my husband start his own company selling something he originally created for his current employer to use?

He created a product that the truck drivers use at the logistics company he works for. His immediate supervisor did not want to pay him on the clock to produce it. My husband produces them at home and his supervisor purchases them from him via ebay. The company is nationwide, and several other branches are now wanting to purchase. Can he establish his own company based on this product? If he ceases to produce and sell it, his employer will have no other means of obtaining the product, unless they allow him to manufacture it at work, which they do not want him to do.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Answered
  • Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: I do not represent you and do not know all the facts, but it sounds like this was a "work for hire" and that the company he worked for owns the rights to it. However, he could approach the company and see if he is able to sell to others. It sounds like he has a strong position in being able to ask the employer to allow him to sell to others.

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