I met today with someone that I did some work with a little while back. He is now at a new company and he would like me to develop a very similar product for his current company. I am interested to get some opinions on the ethics of this - I'll share my own opinion later.
[Quick background: my company (me) develops electronic products for my clients]
From a legal perspective I believe that it is all clear for me to go ahead with the work. The previous design would not be used or copied in any way to ensure that there are no IP issues.
The new company is in the same industry as the old company, and in some regards could be considered an competitor. I don't have a working relationship with the old company any more, that relationship effectively moved with my contact.
So a couple of questions:
- Would you take on the work?
- If you were the old company, what would your perspective be on this?
- If a contractor developed something for you (and you paid fully for the development), and they then went and used the skills/knowledge they had learned and produced a similar device for your competitors, how would that influence you opinion of the contractor?