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    2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2008 8:34 PM by lalithabrahma

    H-1b Visa. Want to sell software.

    sp1995 Newbie
      Here is the deal great think-tanks!

      I'm on H-1B visa and I have written a piece of software for iPhone. The question is very simple. Is it legal for me to sell it? My presumption is no, since I can only work for my designated employer. Ok. Is there a workaround? For example, I take a good friend who is an american citizen and all sales go through him and he holds the money until something good happens (e.g. I get green card). Meanwhile I get nothing. Alternatively, we form a company together and I'm a co-owner who is not employed by the company, just a passive investor and he does all the job. The last option may work, I guess, the problem being only that the software has already been written by ME prior to forming any partnership/company....

      Any thoughts are very much welcome!
        • Re: H-1b Visa. Want to sell software.
          MetroGal Adventurer
          I'm not a lawyer but here are some thoughts: If you were employed by a company to develop software for iPhone, then no you can not sell it since you do not own the rights to it. The company or iPhone owns the software. I have also seen situations in which someone is working on a product for a company and then develops something similar on their own time - - and starts their own business with that competing product. One example is the lawsuit between Mattel Toys and Bratz Dolls - the guy that developed the famous doll, was working at Mattel when he developed it, and of course Mattel alleged that the guy "stole" or leveraged some of Mattel's idea. I think the lawsuit was finally settled for an undisclosed sum. So long story short - I don't think you'll get away with it!
          • Re: H-1b Visa. Want to sell software.
            lalithabrahma Adventurer
            You seem to be having entrepreneurial spirit and want to do it legitimately. Why not consult a lawyer, even tho' it will cost money? It looks like you will need advice from lawyers specialized in various areas of law-Intellectual property, Corporate, immigration etc. Every state has different law. You also will need to discuss with the Immigration lawyer that did H1 B visa. Look for Free or fee based services that can provide you access to lawyers in all areas to address your questions. Ensure that the services you engage, does not require you to sign any long term contract. If you are not happy, you must be able to cancel their services.

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