Unintentional Infringement: Software infringement suits on the rise

It's an odd case of copyright infringement. The defendant--Novelis Corp.--made no infringing copies, nor did it help anyone else make infringing copies. Instead, the company's liability sprang from an internal corporate reorganization.

Novelis is organized under the laws of Texas. Before 2003, this subsidiary of Alcan Inc. had a different name (Alcan Rolled Products Division) and was organized under Ohio law.

Tracking a Trend

The Cincom case isn't a freak outlier. A growing number of software companies, desperate for revenue in tough economic times, are suing their customers for allegedly violating their licensing agreements.

Apples and Oranges

"It is very difficult to reconcile Cincom and Vernor," says Handel. "The rulings are almost diametrically opposed."


Steven Seidenberg

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