My company is a sub contractor on a major government contract. Over the past 5 years we've been developing in house applications to help support our company and streamline our work. Apparently in 2008 our president of the company at that time signed a continuation of services contract with the company we subcontract with on this project. In the contract amendment various things were discussed such as intellectual property and the creation of new and existing tools. The contract states that all the subcontractor's tools/scripts/etc... become the intellectual property of the main contractor holder. Basically all tools that were created in support of the project which we work on are no longer ours exclusively and they have rights to them.
My company really doesn't do software development specifically but because of this contract these tools helped tremendously with our daily tasking. Does my company have any sort of recourse or actions to help keep our tools?
My team of developers were completely unaware of any of these negotiations and until recently were kept in the dark about the agreements that were made. Do we as developers have any rights to the software? Since our company is not a software development shop, we have created all these tools without any sort of agreements or contracts within the company stating that we give our company full rights to our creations? I was reading an article by Joel Spolsky on this topic and was just wonder if there is any advice out there to help assist us?