Does a company own your thoughts? Maybe. On July 26, Alcatel USA Inc., based in Plano, prevailed in a suit against former employee Evan Brown, who claimed that he — rather than the company — owned rights to a software idea that he asserts had long existed in his head.

After five-and-half years in litigation, DSC Communications Corp., n/k/a Alcatel USA Inc. v. Evan Brownhas companies, employees and legal pundits wondering who owns an idea if it hasn’t been expressed in a tangible form but an employee has signed an employment contract making no exclusions under the “inventions” clause.

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