Design concept WASN’T used, would you consider it your IP?

Hi everyone,

I’m going in for a job interview soon and I’m trying to kind of “fill in the gaps” for my portfolio since I was unable to get permission to use anything that I had done for my most recent employer before I was laid off due to downsizing.

One of the things I’ve thought about including was sort of a “trial project” that I laid out the conceptual ground work for and proposed to a company I was seeking employment with. They gave me a basic design brief on what they wanted to do for future product development, and I presented research and gave them an initial concept presentation. Ultimately they decided not to pursue the project with me or hire me.

So what I’m wondering is, if I never signed an NDA, and they didn’t use my design, can I consider it my Intellectual Property?

Would it be acceptable to show and discuss this as part of my portfolio?

Is that a breech of confidentiality if no agreement was ever made?

To my knowledge at least I have not seen any similar product offering on the market by them. I should mention though that the product they wanted to develop was more of a “future forecasting” type of design though, most likely utilizing technology that wasn’t fully realized yet. I am also not showing this to a competitor, or even a company in an even remotely related field.

Anyway, the bottom line is if it’s unethical to show this then I don’t want to. I do think it’s a good example of my conceptual thought and sketching, and that’s the main reason I wanted to include it.

If this uses a technology that they have developed and not released yet, that technology is theirs, and outing it ahead of their release would not be cool.

It isn’t actually technology that THEY are developing. The best way that I can describe it without being specific (which I don’t want to be here obviously) is that it utilized developing technology for a part of the design which would be a COMPONENT of the concept I proposed. They in fact are not developing that component nor did they intend to. The concept I proposed used that component as part of the design. They basically said that they heard of an emerging technology that was being developed by other companies (also not in their industry or market) for part of their design for a future product development project, and asked me to create some concepts using that technology as part of the solution.

I was never really given any other information then “hey this is what we’d LIKE to develop”. Nor did I really do anything other then concept sketches really and laid out scenarios for how that tech. could be incorporated into the concept.

You might try to redo a project that you had done before, and show that. Brake any ties to anyone that might have been associated with the original version, and do that. :wink:

I would be very careful, but I don;t know the in’s and outs of this situation you are in.

If y0u are on good terms with them, why don’t you ask if you can show it in face-to-face portfolio reviews (and not just posted on coroflot). They might be alright with it.

or, if its using another companies public technology, maybe your innovation could be made non-specific to your former company’s product. That way you might be in the clear too

I didn’t actually do any paid work for this company in the end. I did run into my contact this spring, but I doubt he’d be willing to give me permission. I really just want to show the work in face to face portfolio reviews OUTSIDE of their specific industry though. I think it would serve me well to show the company I’m going to be interviewing with that I researched an emerging technology, considered how it could be implemented into a product offering, and created a concept for a family of products based on said technology. I wouldn’t put it on coroflot or show it to a company that could be considered competition in an interview.

Yeah, the component they wanted to incorporate into their product is now in fact available on the market and it’s public technology. So like I said, it’s not really divulging anything they developed themselves, it’s more a product that incorporates this particular technology as a component. I’m sorry about being so vague as to what that is guys, but I don’t want to disclose that here.