Partnerships often start out when two or more people realize that they have a similar vision. They seek to bring something individually and collectively to the table that can move a company toward that shared vision.
In some cases, one partner might have intellectual property that can benefit the business. This must be handled very carefully because of the legal implications if the partner leaves the company.
Who owns the intellectual property?
In the case of intellectual property, it’s best if it’s clearly spelled out in writing who the owner is. Having this information in the contract helps to protect the company and the person who developed the intellectual property. Thinking carefully about the terms is important.
If there isn’t an agreement in writing about the ownership of the intellectual property, it’s likely to be ruled that it’s owned by the company. This means that the business would be allowed to continue using the property if the person who developed it leaves the company.
When the contract stipulates that the original owner maintains the ownership of the intellectual property, they can issue a license to the company. That license can be revoked if the individual leaves the business. The terms of the revocation, such as a specific amount of time for the company to find a replacement, should be included in the contract.
If there are disputes about intellectual property being used in the company, it’s best to consult an attorney familiar with these matters. This can help you to learn about the options that you have so that you might be able to find one that’s agreeable for all parties.