Employee Work Product

Difficult legal questions may arise when an employee develops an idea or a process or creates a product or a design while working for an employer. Is the creation or the idea or the design the property of the employee or the employer?  Who owns the employee’s work product?  What exactly constitutes “work product?”   Below is a list of the kinds of creative or intellectual endeavors that may be considered employee work product.

  • Inventions and creations
  • Research
  • Discoveries
  • Reports and study results
  • Ideas and concepts
  • Interview notes
  • Tactics and work methods
  • Trademarks, service marks and logos
  • Copyrighted and copyrightable material
  • Patented or patentable material
  • Slogans
  • Jingles
  • Tips and leads
  • Tests, testing methods, and test outcomes
  • Drawings
  • Designs
  • Software and software applications
  • Computer code
  • Writing (including copywriting and creative writing)
  • Artwork of all kinds
  • Architectural designs and drafts
  • Prototypes, models and replica
  • Processes and procedures
  • Techniques and shortcuts
  • Recipes, ingredients, mixtures
  • Chemical compounds
  • Databases and data compilations
  • Efficiency methods or strategies
  • Products in conception or under consideration
  • Proposed products, goods, services, or programs
  • Trade secrets
  • Blueprints
  • Notebooks
  • Confidential discussions
  • Minutes of internal meetings
  • Trade information
  • Forecasts and projections
  • Photography and other depictions
  • Internal memos or company bulletins referring to any of the above.

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