Feeds

Software company fails to prove it wrote its own software

No experts in sight

Build a business case: developing custom apps

"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the outcome of these proceedings is unsatisfactory; and that the outcome would have been equally unsatisfactory had the decision gone the other way," said Lord Justice Chadwick, one of the three judges, who gave a unanimous decision. "But that is the effect of the way in which both parties chose to conduct the proceedings. They chose to deny the judge the assistance of the expert's report which Master Bragge had directed.

"They chose to put the judge in the position where the only question which she could decide was whether Point had established on the balance of probabilities, by the evidence which it adduced, that it had developed the Acuo software without copying," said Chadwick. "Point accepted that burden."

The course was conducted using the testimony of the managing director and chief technical architect, a Mr Green and a Mr Blatchford, as the main evidence relating to the nature of Point's software. It emerged that a significant amount of development had been carried out in India, but none of those developers was made available by Point to give evidence.

The original trial judge, Judge Kirkham, said that she developed doubts about the credibility of Green and Blatchford. "I am not confident that Mr Green and Mr Blatchford have presented a full and accurate picture," she said in her ruling.

The Appeals Court found that Kirkham correctly characterised the case when she said that she was "not trying a case as to whether or not there has been copying. [I have to decide] whether Point have demonstrated, on balance of probabilities, independent design."

"There were grounds upon which she could take the view that Mr Green and Mr Blatchford were unreliable witnesses," said Chadwick in his Appeals Court ruling. "It follows that I would hold that the appellant has not shown that the judge was wrong in finding that Point failed to establish on the balance of probabilities that it did not copy Focus' source code in creating the Acuo range of products."

The appeal was dismissed.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.