LAW - Your Boss Does Own Your Brain
The facts of the case showed that Brown had worked on this idea since he was in college, and that he came up with the final pieces of the puzzle while working for DSC. The court held that the program belonged to DSC under a contract that gave the company ownership over inventions that Brown developed in the course of his employment.
The appeals court affirmed the decision. It's clear from reading it that the court didn't really address the issues at all. Despite prior decisions ruling that continued at will employment cannot constitute consideration for an employment agreement (DSC made Brown sign the invention disclosure contract or else it would fire him), the court decided that the company's at will employment of Brown for the next 10 years created a unilateral contract that bound Brown to the terms of the agreement. The court also apparently ignored the fact that the agreement did not adequately define what an "invention" was and that Brown's "solution," as he called it, didn't work yet. Don't know if Brown is planning to seek certiorari to the Texas Supreme Court or not, but if he does, I wish him well.