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)