Appeals Court Affirms Ex-Employee's Idea Belongs To Alcatel

Law360 (August 5, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In a curious case that may prove your company does indeed own your thoughts, a Texas appeals court has affirmed that Alcatel owns the rights to a former employee’s business idea, even though it existed only in his head at the time of his employment.

On July 28, Judge Henderson of the 219th District Court in Collin County, Texas upheld a lower court’s judgment that an idea invented by former employee Evan Brown was the property of DSC Communications (subsequently acquired by Alcatel) and should be turned over to the company.

Brown was hired by DSC Communications Corp., in 1987 and...

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