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Watch out for rivalry that could spawn lawsuit

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

In highly competitive fields, it’s not unusual for bosses and subordinates to distrust one another. But when that distrust leads to one party badmouthing the other, that can spawn a lawsuit.

Recent case: Olga, a researcher in a cancer lab, had signed a work-for-hire agreement in which the lab claimed copyright ownership of all experiments designed and conducted on the job.

Olga did some experiments on her own. She then got into a dispute with her supervisor and the lab about ownership. She eventually sued, claiming that the lab had told a professional journal that Olga’s claims of authorship were under investigation.

The court said that was grounds for a tortious interference with prospective business advantage. (Issaenko v. University of Minnesota, No. 13-3605, DC MN, 2014)

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