- Court: Intellectual Property Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Copyright
- Date Filed: 09-30-2012
- Case #: 09-1655
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Domínguez
- Full Text Opinion
Opinion (Domínguez): José Molinelli–Freytes and Lillian Bird–Canals (collectively, “Molinelli-Bird”) created a proposal for a new academic program while under the employment of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) as a professor and a program director. Molinelli-Bird argued that this program was created outside the scope of their employment, as there was no written agreement between Molinelli-Bird and UPR, and the ordinary duties of a professor and program director do not include the design and creation of a new program. However, the court found that the work-for-hire doctrine was applicable and that the creation of the program was of the kind of work Molinelli-Bird were hired to perform. Molinelli-Bird then asserted that, even if the work for hire doctrine was applicable, that UPR’s IP policy constituted valid transfer of ownership to Molinelli-Bird. The court found, however, that because the work for hire doctrine was applicable, any work done by Molinelli-Bird, unless expressly disclaimed by writing between the parties, was the property of UPR. Therefore, the court GRANTED UPR’s motion for Summary Judgment.