Hi Allan - Maybe!! Do you have an agreement with the designer now? What their scope of work is, how much they are getting paid, etc.
What you need is a "work for hire" statement to be incorporated into a new agreement or have your existing agreement amended to include that.
Basically the work for hire statement says exactly that - they promise to do all of the work described in the agreement for x dollars and upon full payment they have no rights in or to your product and that you own 100% of any and all rights in your product, etc. You can go on to say that that any patents, trademarks, etc. will be in your name and that they agree that they also don`t have any ownership or other rights to the trademark or patent as well.
You should also include some sort of statement that they will never pursue any claim against you and some sort of indemnification that should they try, they will pay any and all of your legal expenses and so on.
If you have spent over a year working on this and I presume several thousands of dollars or more, it would be best to hire a competent attorney that is familiar with work for hire situations to prepare the necessary legal documents with the correct wording.
Spending an extra thousand or two now, can save you a lot of money and grief later.
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