I have been in an agreement with 1 other business partner who has basically screwed me over. After months of developing a product he's decided to take over and push me out. I didn't like the way he handled it and I said that if he wanted to pursue this route that I would look at exiting. My first question is, until I formally state they have exit can he use this comment as saying that I want to exit? I signed a contract that stated that the intellectual property belongs to the company that he created. To put quite simply, he has pushed me out and I am left with lost time and effort. What can I do?
Did he give you any reason for the change?
Yes, what's in your agreement is very important.
For sure, I'd send him/her a bill for the work you've done.
And write a Lesson's Learned report on the whole issue.
One of the important lesson's I learned from such a situation early on in my career, was to create my own agreement and have a lawyer look at it for it's legal issues (to protect me).
To answer your first question: Yes but it doesn't matter. You did say that if he followed this route, you'd look at exiting. Presumably, he's following this route, so presumably, you're looking at exiting. But that doesn't matter. Looking at exiting isn't the same as exiting. He is not entitled to say that you have exited until you exit.
Next, you mention you signed an IP agreement, so you do not own the IP. This is normal. But what did you get in return? You should talk to your lawyer about the validity of your IP agreement if you got nothing in return.
Bottom line is that this is an area for a lawyer. If your interest in the company is not worth a $1000 expense talking to (and having a couple letters to the company written by) your lawyer, then it's time to move on. But if it is important enough, the lawyer should be your next "tool" to use.
Before using that tool, you may want to make it known to the other guy that you have "made an appointment my your lawyer next Tuesday, but would like a chance to meet and settle the matter person to person before that time." Sometimes, just the knowledge that lawyers are getting involved is enough to bring people to the table. Sometimes not.
Most of this is related to legal issues which I doubt many will want to answer. See legal advice.
On the sanity side, are you losing any money? Is the company making money?
Sometimes it is better to move on to other projects unless you were well protected by a contract.
Don't stop taking massive action.
Best of Luck,
Michael T. Irvin
My books are available exclusively through Amazon Books. Check out my book "Copywriting Blackbook of Secrets"
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money