The Company where the engineers are employed for product development OR the Company employing them OR the product development team ?
This is an oft arising question in the software industry and of great relevance in fighting a corporate battle for claiming Copyright /IP and patent control of a product developed by the employees of a company. Logically speaking, the employees work under the overall product development framework of a company, and the development / coding structure is a joint effort of the whole team. The product overall functionality is defined by the Company and details multiple aspects :
But it’s the individual employee or the team effort that goes into the development and its their skill set deployed here. It’s a bit of a grey area and has been debated in court many a time. Its experienced in filing of patents globally and the right way ahead is to get a patent assignment deed signed by the patent filing individual / team for the same in favour of the Company in perpetuity and without any claims in the past, present and future on the same.
Extending the same logic to the product development team and the individuals threin, it would be best to structure the following plans in the employee contracts in an organization :
Implementing the above basics in an organization, add to the security layer in ensuring adequate protection and safeguards in any legal framework and action if needed at any time against violations in Copyright / IP ownership on products owned / developed by an organization.