What is the value of your intellectual property?

I’ve always been of the opinion that intellectual property is what makes someone valuable. That crazy map of creativity and thought inside of their heads is what they bring to the table, and if you want to find the right niche within your workplace, you need to give employees a place where they feel safe to let their intellectual property flow freely throughout the company.

When it comes to me, intellectual property is my everything. This mess inside of my brain is what comes up with the genius. And I don’t say that to imply that I am a genius by any means. I say that as an implication that what I do requires creativity and forethought. It requires one to have vision and insight. It requires one to make use of a certain skill set that there are a lot of jobs in this world that’s not necessary for.

To me, the prospect of signing away my intellectual property to ‘the man’ is a scary one.

It could mean signing away rights to this blog, or anything I create on it hereafter. It could mean signing away rights to my work, to my creations, to my brainchild of development.

I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that. Or willing.

I know that different people have different opinions on the subject matter. I guess, it just scares me because I feel as though my intellectual property and my value very much go hand-in-hand. Signing that over to someone seems like giving up a piece of myself.

35 thoughts on “What is the value of your intellectual property?

      1. Forgive me, but I’m not certain if your ‘intellectual property’ has to be part of such a bargain as long as it is not directly linked to the employment. Does one definitely impact upon the other?

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      2. According to the potential employer they lay claim/ownership to anything I create. I wouldn’t be signing away work I did during office hours, I’d be signing away what’s in my brain, so to speak.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow! That really is all-encompassing in isn’t it? I honestly don’t know how to view it. Hopefully some much wiser heads will be able to council you. In the end you probably have to take the time to listen to your head and your heart. You will make the right decision.

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      4. Thank you. I am going in tomorrow to talk to them about it and see how firm they are on that rule. If you want my work that I do while at work, that’s understandable. I’m not comfortable with signing over the contents of my brain, essentially. Ya know?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not sure of the context to this but I consider my eight years of enjoyable and non-monetized blogging to still very much be my “property“ that I freely give to the public domain. I do not want to lose my rights to it though, I have often thought I might want to compile the best to make a book or some type of collection or even develop programs from the materials, I would be crushed if someone took my stuff and monetized it when I’m dirt poor LOL.

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    1. The context is, I’m a graphic designer and a writer, professionally. My specializing is in taking mandatory/boring messages and turning them into pieces of work the public actually wants to pay attention to. A potential employer wants me to sign away rights to my intellectual property with respect to ANYTHING I create while employed by them. It’s not just things that I do during the work day, but anything that I do at all. Whether it’s at 10 pm and has nothing to do with the business to which I would be working, under the contract, they would own it.

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      1. That doesn’t sound right to me. The red flag being they get rights to any non-related work. Down the road that could lead to consequences and reminds me of a type of identity theft. In contrast, I think the safest thing external to your own mind is your website here. Sure, people can steal ideas and even plagiarize (nothing is totally safe) but it still sounds a lot safer than giving up your own intellect and ideas solely for the employer’s personal gain in exchange for a paycheck.

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  2. WOW!!! Is that normal???? I was looking into becoming a copywriter at one time but I can’t imagine that would expose my blog or other intellectual property to someone else’s domain. I don’t know anything about it but I totally understand your discomfort!!!!

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    1. It’s normal to lay claim to work that someone does while at work, but it’s not normal to lay claim to ALL work. Not unless you’re some genius like Steve Jobs, ya know?

      If the wrong employer decided they liked your blog and the attention it got, they could lay claim to it. It’s a scary thought.

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  3. I agree with you 100%. For an employer to state up front without knowing you that they want your intellectual property is just plain wrong.

    I actually worked for a place that had that kind of setup, but at the time, I didn’t necessarily have any intellectual property to speak of.

    Now I definitely do, so my answer would be no. Not worth it.

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    1. That’s why I’m so on the fence. I literally… like signing away my intellectual property, signing a non-disclosure and a non-compete? It feels like I’m backing myself into a corner.

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      1. I went in and spoke with them this morning, told them I wasn’t comfortable with the contract as is, explained my perspective and they’re going to rewrite the parts I took issue with. So I’m pretty happy with that. Thank you for your vote of confidence! It really helped yesterday.

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      2. Oh wow, that’s amazing! I’m so happy you stood up for yourself like that. Iit can be really hard when put on the spot in an interview like that.

        You are amazing! High five!

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  4. I wouldn’t be able to do that. My thoughts and creativity are solely mine. I may rent them out to a job for a period of time. I could never allow anyone to deny me the rights to my creative process and whatever fruits from it outside of direct work context. Good luck with this, V. Hard situation….

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    1. That’s exactly how I feel. If I make something at work, you can use it, but you don’t get to lay claim to it. You don’t get to say that I never get to use it. I’m in totally agreeance with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I just need a rich relative to leave me all of their money so I have capital to get started. Know anyone who’s rich and wants to be my relative? (I mean this in a lighthearted way, so hopefully it’s taken that way) Thank you for the compliment I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You value your intellect and your thoughts Vee and that is so awesome …if you value these in others in equal measure – become an entrepreneur. You may Begin with free lancing. The whole wide world is open to you 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m going to freelance whilst working, so at least I have a guaranteed pay cheque. Then, as my portfolio grows, I’ll consider going out on my own.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a really good way to do that. Dropping everything and going freelance is difficult – really difficult – even for the most talented people. I wouldn’t want to do it, and I have no question of my capabilities. It sounds like yo’re making the smart decision. I wish you good luck!

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