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Mason and Shepherd' difficulties - Case Study Example

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Mason and Shepherd, who are in the final stage of starting a new joint venture, are actually in highly contentious position with regard to their present employment. Mason has been working for ATS for the last five years and has signed employment contract that strictly binds her and her work paradigm with the company. …
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Download file to see previous pages The clause 1, 2 and 4 of her contract exclusively forbid her to share any information that is related to the company, its associates and customers or is linked in anyway to its wider interests. The contract is also explicit in that during the employment period and within one year of leaving present employment, she cannot engage in any business or activity that is in direct or indirect competition to the existing area of operation of ATS. As per clause 6, the company has also claim to any new idea that may significantly impact organizational work output and performance. Shepherd’s employment contract also forbids him to share company’s information. At the same time, it also ensures that his employer, Nova Software Company will have claim to any new idea, discovery or development that are conceived during the period of employment and which has direct bearing on the wider ramifications on the operations and performance of the company. Thus, both Mason and Shepherd are in highly precarious ground vis-a-vis their employment conditions. There are huge legal and ethical issues that are being violated by Mason and Shepherd. Shepherd was inspired for his new ideas for developing translation software by observing the pros and con of the software developed by his previous employer, Riverhead. But it was only after working for ten years at Nova that he decided to seriously work on translation engine. The new software would expedite the portability of software developed by Nova and other companies on myriad operating systems. Hence, by default the company has claim to the idea and development of translation engine which would complement the software developed by the Nova. Mason has also been exploiting her contacts, developed during her employment at ATS for her own vested interests. She has also been highly unethical in accessing and using confidential information for her personal gain. Mason and Shepherd are both in serious trouble. They now not only need to give advance notice for their resignation but also hire the services of a lawyer who could defend them in the court of law for breach of confidential information, violation of employment contract on various level and for also protecting their future interests vis-a-vis their creative input. Therefore, Mason and Shepherd must hand over their resignation, give advance notice and also take legal recourse to counter any claim by their employers. Answer 2 The non disclosure agreement as prepared by Mason and Shepherd for the prospective venture capitalists lacks professional vision and rational approach. The agreement prohibits the VCs to discuss the wider ramifications of the project with other investors or specialists for its feasibility. The VCs are independent investors who would need to ensure the viability of project before they decide to fund the project. They are also inundated with requests for funding the projects from other businesses and individuals. Thus, it would become highly difficult for VCs to differentiate minor differences amongst the innovative software from different developers. Hence, disclosure agreement must give leverage to VCs so that they can confer with other experts in the field before coming to final decision. Mason and Shepherd can protect their interests by patenting their ideas and software. Hence, it is unreasonable to expect VCs to sign this disclosure agreement. Another important fact is that legitimacy of the company that has yet to become a legal entity. Thus, any legal non disclosure agreement becomes null and void and it is highly unreasonable on the part of Mason and Shepherd to expect their venture capitalists to sign such agreement. Answer 3 Yes. Mason and Shephe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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