Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

The interview process and intellectual property

An interview is a time when a job candidate and a New Jersey employer have a relatively frank exchange of ideas. However, it may not be a good idea to share too much when it comes to intellectual property. It is important to note that an idea itself is not eligible for protection. Only artistic expressions such as a painting or a book could be copyrighted while patents only apply to unique inventions.

In some industries, an employer may ask an applicant to create new code or something similar to prove his or her worth. In such a scenario, the applicant may want to copyright the creation as it may take a lot of time and effort to make. While copyrights may be granted automatically under the Berne Convention, it may be worthwhile to register it to have a clear record of ownership.

It should be pointed out that an outline or overview of how the code could be created would not be protected by copyright. Those who don't feel comfortable about giving their ideas away or feel that those ideas could be used without compensation may wish to decline the interview or decline to answer the specific question. While this may decrease the odds of getting a position, it may be the only way to guarantee IP is protected.

Those who wish to protect intellectual property may benefit from talking with an attorney. Legal counsel may also be helpful in cases involving patent or copyright infringement. If a copyright or patent is infringed, the person who holds such protection may be entitled to compensation. The infringing party may also be required to cease and desist from using anything that may copy or come close to copying a protected work of art or invention.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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