Does Your Employer Own Your Thoughts?
Evan Brown – Does Your Employer Own Your Thoughts?
In a modern David vs. Goliath tale, Texan computer expert Evan Brown was
sued for thoughts that existed only in his brain.
Brown had been mentally formulating a way to convert old computer code
into new languages since 1975. While he was employed by DSC Communications of
Plano, Texas (1987-1997), Brown mentioned the idea to his employer in 1996,
who then decided
they own the rights to Brown’s thoughts, even though he came up with
the idea for a software conversion procedure on his own time, and it was
to the work he was doing at DSC and is was not along the lines of DSC’s
business. The company demanded Brown disclose
his idea to them, and when Brown refused, DSC fired him and filed this lawsuit