Merlin Wright Associates, if an employee takes confidential information from their previous employer and uses it at your business they could be found liable for breach of confidentiality even if they didn’t know the information was confidential. You should have a clear policy in place with your new employees and ensure that they are aware of this risk when starting their job. This could include having patent and registered design searches performed on their past employment.
In many sectors we are seeing a trend towards internal movement, especially in highly specialized areas. This is good news for organisations as they can scout and retain their best associates without the need for them to look elsewhere. It’s also helpful for professionals as it reaffirms their commitment to the organization and shows that they are valued.
The IP world is no different. There is a growing trend of organizations taking on senior, experienced IP practitioners on an interim basis to get projects off the ground and/or boost capacity in busy periods. This is a good trend and one that we believe will continue. It allows firms to add specialist knowledge and experience to their teams whilst allowing the candidate to gain a broader insight into the industry and build on their existing skills. For the candidates, this is often a career move that they will welcome as it offers them the opportunity to gain a foothold in the market or increase their salary.