We'll never be at the same stage as the good old US. Or at least I hope not. And in America you can sue anybody for anything, no matter how stupid. Some of the things you see and hear beggar belief.
At the end of the day, your contract of employment, and the way you safeguard your own IP and copyright are of vital importance. As a programmer (or whatever else you provide), if you are not happy with your employment... don't work for them.
If Bernie wanted to scupper H & P, he could always release HIS work as some sort of freeware. How can H & P sell things that people can download for free?