Intellectual Property

There are many companies that when you work for them part of the all your thoughts, ideas, and inventions are the property of the company. I have to believe that the *employees* of these companies have signed employment agreements and are fully aware of these clauses.
I have recently been told by my former employer that *I* was subject to such terms of my employment. This is amazing to me on several levels, not the first of which is that I was *not* an employee. I was an *independent contractor*. IANAL, but generally this meant my employer paid no payroll, Social Security, or other taxes for me. He paid my corporation and it paid my salary, benefits, taxes, etc. In fact, I would say that I don’t think we ever really had a *written* contract or agreement. We had an understanding.
What is under dispute is my registration of one or more domains, the *original* registration, and the writing of the web site. I have to disclose that I did write all the content, XHTML, and CSS for the site. This is not in dispute. My employer did not have a web presence prior to my arrival and he did not reimburse or otherwise pay for the domain registration.
Under normal circumstances, like if I was actually paid for web site services, HTML/CSS coding or as some sort of IT professional you might think that I’m being a bit of a prat. Well, let’s cut to the chase, I’m a surgeon. It’s what I did. It’s what I got paid for. It’s what my employer made a 3+ to 1 return on his investment for my services over the course of about 2 years. That’s because I was a *salaried* independent contractor. Yep, this was a real stupid move on my part, but then again I *was* being groomed to *take over* the business.
It didn’t work out. I’ve left and [*hung up my shingle*][1] elsewhere, so to speak. I created my own web site under a different domain. Most of the content is the same — I wrote it, I liked it. *All* the images are my work. So let me ask. Why should my former employer expect *ownership* of the domain and it’s content. I’ve no idea.
But wait, there’s more. I found out today that my current domain is *”too close to his and is confusing his patients”*. He would like me to change it to something else. Some nerve huh. Well, the part I’ve been omitting is my former employer is my father. Welcome to my world. I probably shouldn’t post this but WTF.
[1]:http://www.fragensurgery.com/

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