I’ve recently started an LLC with a co-worker and am looking for some advice. We’re currently both employed by a fairly large company that produces software that is specialized and only really relevant in that market.
One of the first products we plan on developing for this business was inspired by our current project. The service is relatively complicated and virtually nonexistent publicly; however, the information is publicly available and none of the ideas utilize any proprietary information and are entirely backed by private research done outside of work hours.
With that being said; we are currently working on a solution for our primary gig while tangentially working on a similar solution to market independently. The code, data, infrastructure, and design is different from our work solution as we are designing it for general use. Realistically; the only similarity between the two solutions is that we’re solving a similar problem.
We don’t plan on leaving our current positions any time soon, so we want some advice on how to approach this opportunity both from a professional and legal point of view. How should we approach informing coworkers and the company at large? Should this be something we announce early on or later after we have a finished product? We also don’t want to make it seem like we’re creating a less than optimal solution for our company with the hopes that they will use our product. The company is very supportive of its employees having side gigs. In fact, another coworker built and released a product very similar to an existing product at our primary gig. That being said, what measures should we take to protect ourselves and our product legally?