I'm currently working for a startup in Berlin. It's now well established. My contract is pretty standard and it contains two points, which I believe every software/startup company in Germany have on their contracts:
- Everything that i do in my free time (while being employed) is owned by the company, including any research, software produced ... blah blah blah.
- I can't work on anything that is related to the field that this company is working in.
Honestly I understood these two points as a protection for the company so that someone doesn't just quit and steal its software and start a similar business and be a competitor. However, I really would like to know if my understanding is simply correct or too naive .... ie if they are really enforced as they are.
My questions are:
If I ever build an app/website while being employed and this business became profitable, would the company really ask to own it?! Even if it's totally beyond its specialties? Would the law in Germany stand with the company regarding this? (point one)
If I decided to leave my current company, can I work at a different company that work in the same field?! Or am I required to look for jobs in completely different fields?! (point two)
Of course, since they are written in the contract yes they can enforce them if they want, but what I'm interested in, do companies really enforce them as they are?! Or only when a theft happens? i.e an employee becomes a competitor?