Moral ownership and copyright
Singapore 26th May 2011
Intellectual property is always an interesting topic. I am currently putting the last hand to our website (watch out coming out very soon now!) and as we are in the process of putting our company project references together there is always an issue of copyright, certainly in my case where I just started with KLD, but have a long list of personal achievements over the years in various companies. I have obviously a legitimate claim to all these projects from the past as I actually designed them. But my previous companies have a legitimate claim to the projects as well as the lighting designs were done by me when there and hence they are the intellectual property of the company, regardless whether there is still someone in the company with the project design experience or not.
I know it is strange and this afternoon when I visited an architect to introduce my new company KLD I was confronted with the fact that they had met my previous company as well. My presentation is open and transparent and I make it clear I was the designer and that the project was done when in my previous company, more so that the lighting design team that worked with me on these projects moved with me to KLD as well. In other words the project expertise to support and reproduce (!) the lighting design quality is truly in the company. A sort of moral copyright and ownership :). For my former company the situation is quite different, while they can claim actual copyright and ownership of the projects in reference, it becomes a more difficult proposition to sell the project expertise as the actual designers are no longer part of the company.
Since the key designers in my team were actually involved in many of the projects from our references I will list these projects as part of the company experience, as long as we are transparent about the fact that the projects were executed when in another company. Unfortunately not everyone in this market is always open and clear about their references…
In Light Watch today the invention that started all in lighting….the incandescent lamp. Many of us learned that Thomas Edison was the inventor of the long lasting incandescent filament lamp, but it is also well known that Joseph Swan also lodged a patent more or less at the same time for the same….
Light Watch 97: The early incandescent lamp