I worked for a US based defense contractor by the name of Meggitt Defense Systems, Inc. (MDSI).

Because the parent firm, Meggitt Plc was British, MDSI had to be incorporated with it's own board of directors so as to create a fire wall on what we were doing from the foreign entity that owned us.

We were also separate from the approximately 36 other divisions that Meggitt Plc owned.

Question: Is my Proprietary Agreement with MDSI limited solely to MDSI as I believe, or can Meggitt Plc claim that my Proprietary Agreement with the solely owned division MDSI extends to all divisions and their individual business interests - even thought there may be some interactions between the divisions at times?

During my employment, I came up with a novel invention that allows a Fire Suppression Bottle to function in any orientation.

In my Proprietary Agreement with MDSI, Section C4 describes where I own any inventions developed on my own time, to include those none-relevant to MDSI's business interests in Section C4a.

C4 Notwithstanding the above, MDSI agrees, pursuant to law, that paragraph C.3. Above, does not apply to an invention that Employee developed entirely on Employee's own time without using MDSI's equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade secret information except for those inventions that either:

a. Relate at the time of conception or reduction to practice to MDSI's business, or to actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development of MDSI: or


Although the Proprietary Agreement states 42 times the agreement is between myself and MDSI, Meggitt is now claiming the agreement extends to all divisions. I have nothing in writing that states as such from my time of employment with MDSI.

My employment and compensation came solely from MDSI, no other division.

  • 2
    I think to get the bottom of this will take an attorney engaged by you. Is it possible that your agreement is to assign your IP to the subsidiary and, separately, the subsidiary has an agreement to assign all its IP to the parent?
    – George White
    Nov 7, 2014 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


That's the problem when you disclose your invention to the other party without the written agreement or NDA, you have no rights over an invention and you can't stop if they want to disclose it to the public or if they want to claim them as their own.

But one leverage you have is if you have filed a patent for your invention. But it seems you have not. I suggest that you talk to an expert regarding your situation.

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