Does my company really own every idea I come up with?

From Hacker News:

I work for a large company that owns a website with a couple million members that allows them to get answers to their technical questions, read blogs, network with their peers, etc from that website. I am a salaried mid-level .NET developer at work during the day.

I came up with an idea for a web app that could really take off. I’ve been working on it at home, on my own machine, on my own time. Its written in Python using the Google App Engine SDK (super awesome, BTW). I can see needing Angel or VC funding at some point, or selling it if it really does take off (that would be my ultimate goal, of course — selling it to a larger company and cashing out).

My concern is, since I work for this larger company and signed an “Employer Protection Agreement” when I was hired, do they own my “invention” (web app), even though it was developed on my own time, with my own resources? Where is the line between whether a web app relates to my current employer’s site or not.


Books I read in January/February 09:
The Caine Mutiny
The Survivors
Master and Commander
Darwin’s Radio
Out of Africa
The Archer’s Tale
Band of Brothers
24/7 Living it up in Vegas
Maus I & II
To Kill a Mockingbird
Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
Catch 22

Books I’ve read in Jan/Feb 10:
The Forever War

A bit of a discrepe, discrepency….. And now I can’t even spell. Don’t help. Discrepancy. Good. No little red wiggle under it.

Quote of the Day

From this profile of Roger Ebert in Esquire (The whole profile is worth a read):

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear, he writes in a journal entry titled “Go Gently into That Good Night.” I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.