6 Keys to Selecting the Right ERP Integrator | ERP Licensing Attorneys
When an ERP software system implementation fails, sometimes it’s because the vendor told a potential buyer that its round peg would fit into the user’s square hole in order to make the sale. But maybe even more often, the failure is because the integrator either did not fully understand the ...
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Another Week, Another SAP ERP Lawsuit
The failure of ERP software systems often prompts a lawsuit to be filed by the user against the vendor and integrator. But a new twist in trying to recover damages from an ERP failure surfaced in May 2019, when Revlon Inc. shareholders filed three class action suits again the cosmetics ...
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Reducing the Cost and Problems of an ERP Software System Solution
Corporate financial wizards are expert at creating realistic expense budgets that project exactly how much will be spent on everything from paper clips to building a new facility and expanding into new markets. But even the best MBA analysts from the best grad schools have trouble accurately budgeting the cost ...
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An Apple Box of Reasons Why the U.S. Needs a GDPR | ERP Software Licensing Attorneys
For several years now, it’s been widely known how Google and Facebook abuse the privacy of users. Apple Inc. always insisted it was different. A recent ad proclaimed “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone” and CEO Tim Cook once boasted in a talk “We’re not Google.” It ...
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7 Things to Not Do When Negotiating Your SAP S/4Hana ERP Contract | Marcus Harris
In mid-May 2019, I spoke at a two-day conference on avoiding problems with SAP S/4HANA ERP software , integration and implementation projects. Many users run into the same kind of problems with their SAP  S/4Hana software implementation. As an ERP attorney whose career includes working on the vendor side of ...
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Lawsuit Settles After Another Major ERP Derailment | Marcus Harris
Roseanne Roseannadanna, a popular character in the early years of Saturday Night Live, had a catch phrase, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” This seems to describe what happened with National Grid USA’s ERP software system integration and why Wipro recently settled a lawsuit National Grid (NGUSA) filed against ...
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Hertz Lawsuit Says Accenture Hurt Hertz So Much It Hurts | Marcus Harris
Recently, The Hertz Corp. filed a $32-million lawsuit against consulting behemoth Accenture LLP for what it claims was the botched development and delivery of a new website for all of Hertz’s brands. The project was launched in August 2018, missed its original December 2017 delivery date that slipped to January, ...
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Marcus Harris Speaks at ERP Conference | ERP Software Licensing Attorneys
On May 16 and 17, Taft Stettinius & Hollister partner Marcus Harris spoke at a two-day conference on avoiding problems with SAP S/4HANA ERP development, integration and implementation. The Taft law firm co-sponsored the event with Third Stage Consulting. Because ERP digital transformations can become difficult, the conference looked at ...
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Review Data Security and Software Licenses When Buying a Company | Marcus Harris
When a company decides to invest in or acquire another business, they do extensive checking into what precisely they are buying. This can range from counting the towels and silverware owned by a hotel chain to calculating the validity and future value of a customer list. Lawyers call this “due ...
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Comparing Fines, Sanctions: GDPR and California’s New Law | Marcus Harris
When the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) was written, it gave businesses some two years to adjust their systems so that they could comply with the GDPR’s complex rules. But when state legislators approved the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), companies were given just under a year to ...
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Enforcing Copyrights Just Got Tougher | ERP Software Licensing Attorneys
There’s been a nagging – and potentially serious – discrepancy in copyright case law that the U.S. Supreme Court finally resolved. It involves when the owner of a copyright can sue for infringement. Some federal circuits held that a lawsuit can be filed by a copyright owner as soon as ...
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Privacy
It seems that California opened the floodgates on privacy concerns when it passed a law with strict requirements on businesses that collect, use and sell data about people. Privacy and related laws have become hot talking points for politicians, business leaders, attorneys like me who do privacy and data security ...
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Oracle Hit With $4.5-Million Suit for ERP Delays, and Delays, and Delays
Read the Court Filing > Giant ERP software vendor Oracle America Inc. was sued last week on Feb. 22, 2019, in a California federal court for $4.5-million by a Pennsylvania-based mechanical contractor over repeated delays and eventual abandonment of the project. The lawsuit, filed by Worth & Company, alleges fraud ...
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New Study: What’s Behind ERP Failures – And Successes?
For organizations thinking of upgrading a legacy ERP software system or implementing one for the first time, it is always useful to take a detailed, analytical look at what is happening in the world of digital transformation – both qualitatively and quantitively. As an attorney who negotiates and drafts ERP ...
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The Major Impact of California’s Privacy Law
For all practical purposes, the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is the closest the U.S. will have to a national law governing data privacy until Congress takes action of its own. As a data security and privacy attorney, I was surprised at how easily the law passed the California ...
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High Court Imposes New Rules for BIPA Compliance | ERP Attorneys
Illinois’ groundbreaking Biometric Information Privacy Act, called BIPA, just got a lot tougher thanks to the Illinois Supreme Court. While the court’s specific decision involves a teen entering an amusement park, it has widespread implications for every company in the state collecting, storing and using biometric data about employees and ...
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Beware of the ERP Sirens Calling
A new report on the projected growth of the ERP market through 2025 estimates that sales will increase by 7-percent annually and that the market will expand by some $41-billion over that period. The study, done by Texas-based Research N Report and released in late January, 2019, may be a ...
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Own Your ERP Project
Keeping the installation and launch of an ERP software system on track is a tough, complicated process. There are lots of ways an ERP software implementation project can be derailed, as I’ve written about numerous times at this blog and elsewhere. One of the ways to help keep the implementation ...
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Gumming Up Gummy Bears
It seems like hardly a month goes by without news of another major ERP train wreck. This time, it is a German company that ran into problems: Haribo, a candy maker best known for Gummy Bears. When its new SAP-built ERP system went live late last year, there were massive ...
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Gov’t. Warning: SAP and Oracle ERP Systems Vulnerable to Hackers
A new warning from the Dept. of Homeland Security is alerting users of Oracle and SAP ERP systems that they are vulnerable to hacks, data breaches and the theft of valuable information in attacks launched by offshore actors – both private and state-sponsored. Based on analyses from security firms Digital ...
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Mediation Can Help Developers and Integrators in an ERP Dispute
Far too many ERP implementations go off track, ending up in court. While many of the disputes could be avoided if vendors and their sales people didn’t promise the Earth, the sun, and the Moon to users to make a sale, the fact is this happens. When digital transformations fail, ...
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In The News: I Explain EULA’s To Fleet Equipment Magazine
The new issue of Fleet Equipment magazine has me explaining why an “End User License Agreement” must be negotiated to determine who owns data collected by a service provider. I noted that these agreements, commonly known by the acronym EULA, is typically complex and one-sided in a way that does ...
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The Risks To ERP From AI and IoT
Sometimes, advances in technology can take away even as they give. Recently, I wrote about the enhancements to ERP software systems that might come from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things during 2019. While I stand by my fearless November forecast, nevertheless AI and IoT also pose security risks ...
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5 Parts to Solid ERP Contracts
For all of the reasons I wrote about last week, ERP software system contracts are becoming increasingly complex to negotiate and draft owing to the growing number of functions such systems are required to accommodate. Because of the complexity, there are many ways an ERP project can go wrong, starting ...
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6 ERP Trends to Watch In 2019
As 2019 looms larger on the calendar, it’s easy to forget what the great Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra said about looking ahead: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Even still, as an ERP software licensing and litigation attorney who has worked in the field for ...
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6 Early Warning Signs Your ERP Project Is in Trouble
There are lots of ways the acquisition, development, installation and launch of an ERP software system can go wrong, even with a negotiated contract that spells out in detail what the software vendor and integrator will do, when they will do it, and what they will be paid for doing ...
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Doing Everything Wrong With ERP
If a graduate business school at a major university ever wants to write a case study on how not to do ERP, they need look no further than U.S. National Grid Co.’s series of decisions surrounding its buying, implementing and launching an SAP program for its power generating and distribution ...
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A Shady Challenge to A Sunglass Company’s IP
A Shady Challenge to A Sunglass Company’s IP The world of fashion and beauty is intensely competitive – sometimes ruthlessly so. But there are occasions the competition slides into the bizzaro-world, when one designer challenges the legitimate trademark of another house just to sideswipe the rival. The outcome of just ...
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Partner Marcus Harris on Leading By Example and Leading From Behind
“Leading from behind,” especially in a law firm and the need to look beyond mere financial rewards. I talk about how we look for attorneys who will bring now just excellence to their work but something more that’s often intangible ...
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Implications for ERP Users of Teradata Accusing SAP of Stealing IP
Implications for ERP Users of Teradata Accusing SAP of Stealing IP SAP, one of the world’s largest developers and vendors of ERP software systems, is accused in a lawsuit of stealing trade secrets and intellectual property for 10 years from Teradata to build its flagship HANA platform. While a trial ...
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Coke Zero’s Out on Coke Zero Trademark
Coke Zero’s Out on Coke Zero Trademark Sometimes, even a Fortune 100 company can get in trouble over a trademark protection. Coca Cola’s fastest growing brand is its sugar-free Coke Zero, filing some filed 17 trademark registrations over the years to protect the name. But the Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group contested ...
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Forget Tariffs. China Is Overtaking U.S. In Tech Innovation and AI
Back in the 1990s, a business acquaintance had a series of meetings over a two-year period with Zhu Rongji, at the time responsible for China’s fast moving economic reform program but who went on to become the country’s Premier. During a break in one of their sessions, Zhu was taking ...
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SAP Stirs A Hornet’s Nest of Worries Over New ERP Pricing Scheme
After allowing its ERP customers to plug third party software into SAP’s software for a number of years without saying so much as “boo,” the German company is cracking down. It just announced a series of significant pricing changes for its ERP software system licenses because, the company claims, its ...
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ERP Software Systems Will Be Big Beneficiaries of The IoT
When the 3GPP standards body approved New Radio specs for 5G telecommunications at the end of December 2017, it cleared the way for ISPs and telecom companies to begin offering ultra high-speed services to businesses and individuals. Although the speed of 5G downloads on smartphones has received much of the ...
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Confronting Trademark Bullies and Infringers Requires Playing Tough, Not Dirty
Today, the world is filled with so-called “trademark bullies,” large companies that seem to take a perverse pleasure in going after the trademarks of small companies, sometimes because a portion of a mark incorporates a portion of what the competitor feels is theirs but often on specious grounds.  In fact, ...
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IP Summit Learns How ERP Contracts Can Head Off “Train Wrecks” For Users and Vendors – Part III
Over the past two days, I’ve been blogging about my presentation to the IP Summit on June 5, 2018 in Chicago. Part I revealed to vendors the three main reasons why so many ERP software implementations end up in lawsuits. Users learned in Part II the four lessons they should ...
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IP Summit Hears Lessons for Users On Avoiding ERP Installation “Train Wrecks” – Part II
Yesterday, I blogged about my speech to the IP Summit in Chicago on June 5, 2018 that showed vendors ways of Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck, I began by explaining the three key reasons why a disturbing number of ERP software implementations end up in disputes and litigation. Today, ...
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Hacking Your Kid’s Smart Toy!
Hacking Your Kid’s Smart Toy! The New York Post quotes Marcus Harris on the hacking of smart toys made by CloudPets, noting it’s one of the first times a toy has been pulled from the shelves due to digital security concerns. Retailers will stop carrying the stuffed animals after the ...
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Marcus Harris Interviewed by MarketWatch On CloudPets Hacking Potential
Marcus Harris Interviewed by MarketWatch On CloudPets Hacking Potential When major retailers including Walmart and Amazon stopped selling CloudPets because of hacking concerns, Marcus Harris told MarketWatch it was a landmark decision because it was one of the first times a toy was removed from store shelves due to digital security worries. (see ...
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Marcus Harris Radio Interview on Hacking Of CloudPet Toys
On June 12, 2018, Marcus Harris discussed a popular children’s toy being pulled from the shelves of retailers because of concerns it could be hacked. He was interviewed on WHO Newstalk Radio in Des Moines, Iowa ...
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Forget Tariffs. China Is Overtaking U.S. In Tech Innovation and AI
Back in the 1990s, a business acquaintance had a series of meetings over a two-year period with Zhu Rongji, at the time responsible for China’s fast moving economic reform program but who went on to become the country’s Premier. During a break in one of their sessions, Zhu was taking ...
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IP Summit Hears Why So Many ERP System Installations Go Off the Rails – Part I
I addressed the 4thannual IP Summit on June 5, 2018, in Chicago on Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck. This is a subject that is all too familiar to me as an ERP software litigation attorney having represented a significant number of clients over the years in disputes and lawsuits ...
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Is Your ERP Sales Team GDPR Ready?
Like many businesses, vendors have been scrambling to adjust the software in their ERP system to be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force in late May. Senior managers and executives have been so consumed with rewriting and testing code that many haven’t ...
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Faking It: Counterfeit Products Plague the Cosmetics and Other Consumer Product Industries Study Shows
In a new study of the counterfeit cosmetics industry released in early June 2018, Red Points Solutions S.I. revealed that more than 40-percent of the makeup offerings in Facebook ads and on so-called “company pages” were for fake products as were 30-percent of the cosmetics sites on eBay and 10-percent ...
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Tesla Violates Open Source Agreements; Don’t Be Like Tesla
Tesla Violates Open Source Agreements; Don’t Be Like Tesla Open source software can be a two-edged sword. On the one hand, for many companies or their vendors developing a specific application to make their business more efficient, it can save valuable time because programmers don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.” ...
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3 Steps To Ensuring Vendors Provide Sufficient ERP Support
Manufacturer’s were “early adopters” of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and ERP has been in widespread use by the industry for decades. It has increased productivity and profitability without creating a massive disruption to companies and their workers. But one of the problems my manufacturing clients often encounter that I ...
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Is Viet Nam The New China for Stealing IP?
Counterfeit products flooding the U.S. and world markets is a huge problem, and historically China has accounted for 86-percent of the illicit and illegal goods in circulation. But as the country struggles to gain legitimacy with trading partners and foreign investors, it has conducted a major crackdown on the manufacture ...
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Learn How To Avoid An ERP Implementation Nightmare
Learn How To Avoid An ERP Implementation Nightmare Like Longfellow’s little girl, when things go bad with an ERP implementation, typically they are horrid. So, on June 5, I will be presenting "Avoiding an ERP Implementation Train Wreck" at the 4th Annual IP Strategy Summit here in Chicago. The summit ...
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Take a Wrong Turn with ERP and Wind up in Court
In the absence of basic planning and exquisite attention to contractual obligations, companies embarking on ERP deployment can end up in a much darker place: the courtroom. Marcus Harris explains to Information Week how to avoid this happening ...
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Atticus Finch Settles A Copyright Dispute
You can hardly graduate from an American high school without reading Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which was turned into an Academy Award winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Before Ms. Lee died in 2016, she signed an agreement with Broadway producer Scott Rudin ...
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This Bud’s Not for You: Anheuser-Busch’s ERP Contract Dispute Settles Quietly
Although an “amicable settlement” was reached nearly a year ago, news of the agreement between Anheuser-Busch and SAP did not slip out until the brewer published its annual report in late May. At stake was some $600-million in damages SAP was seeking, claiming that the huge American brewer allegedly made ...
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Change Management A Key Part of Successful ERP Implementation
As an ERP software system attorney who negotiates contracts and litigates disputes, I’ve seen four things that can doom a newly-implemented or upgraded ERP software system: The user signing the vendor’s template contract, which is always one-sided and disadvantages the user, without negotiation, The vendor over-promising what will be delivered ...
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America Needs A Data Privacy and Security Law
When police finally captured Joseph D’Angelo, the alleged Golden State Killer who had eluded arrest for decades, they used DNA evidence to track him down. The forensic team that finally pieced together enough information that led to D’Angelo’s arrest relied on law enforcement data bases. But few people realize that ...
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Cambridge Analytica Shuts Down, Twitter Defends Sale of Data to Firm
Marcus Harris discusses the Cambridge Analytica shutdown in SC Media https://www.scmagazine.com/cambridge-analytica-shuts-down-twitter-defends-sale-of-data-to-firm/article/763108/ ...
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Should Teens Be Given the Chance to Have Their Online Activity Wiped Clean?
Marcus Harris Discusses in the Kansas Rual Messenger "Should Teens Be Given the Chance to Have Their Online Activity Wiped Clean?" ...
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Google Wants to Emasculate Illinois’ Tough Biometric Privacy Law
For at least a decade, Illinois has had the country’s toughest biometric privacy law on the books. The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) prevents using fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition software from being exploited for commercial purposes without an individual’s consent. Now Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., is trying to ...
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Lack of Intellectual Property Protection in China Worries American Companies, Slows R&D: Survey
As we wrote on April 18, 2018, protecting American intellectual property in China is a far bigger issue than the reasons Pres. Trump listed as to why he was imposing steep tariffs on a wide range of products produced in China. This point was reinforced a few days later when ...
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Can AI Improve ERP Systems Efficiency Markedly?
On April 16, 2018, a select committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords issued a report on the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) titled AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able?. Among the recommendations, the Lords and Baronesses of Parliament’s upper house suggested that utilizing AI to ...
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IP and JVs: Several Ounces of Protection Is Worth Tons of Cure
When President Trump announced a series of steep, punitive tariffs against China, much of the media’s attention was on how they will hurt American businesses and consumers the most. But alleged intellectual property theft by both private and state-owned enterprises in the P.R.C. has raised the ire of Washington for ...
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Marcus Harris Discusses Facebook Privacy Settings on ABC 13 New York
See Transcript Below Kate/GoLocalLIVE: Marcus Harris is a software litigation attorney who is an expert on what's been not only taking place in recent days, but I'm sure you've been keeping an eye on just how much information gathering Facebook has been doing since its inception. We have seen now ...
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Canada’s New Data Protection Law Set To Be Effective Nov. 1
Canada’s New Data Protection Law Set To Be Effective Nov. 1 With so much attention focusing on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in Europe on May 25, 2018, few people are noticing that our friendly northern neighbors have a similar law coming this November. As a ...
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Customized ERP Systems Require Customized Contracts
Customized ERP Systems Require Customized Contracts At the beginning of 2018, numerous organizations and people involved in various aspects of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry issued their projections for the year. As an ERP attorney, we were among the many who made a prognostication. Several of the trends identified ...
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E.U. To Executives: Relax On GDPR
E.U. To Executives: Relax On GDPR The European Union’s tough, new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have caused much hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing among executives in Europe and here in the United States. Failing to comply with the rules carries the possibility of enormous fines: Up to about US$26.6 million. As ...
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The Outlier: Unlike in The U.S., Software Is Not “Goods” In Britain
The Outlier: Unlike in The U.S., Software Is Not “Goods” In Britain Although the matter has been mostly settled in the United States and most other common law jurisdictions for some time now, in late March 2018, the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeal in London declared software is not “goods” ...
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Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About GDPR
Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About GDPR As we wrote here recently, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places serious restrictions on how a business can use information it has on customers and clients and imposes tough penalties on companies that violate the rules. While the requirements of the ...
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ERP Systems Being Used by More Industries with Greater Customization
ERP Systems Being Used by More Industries with Greater Customization Not unexpectedly, manufacturers continue to be the biggest users of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software as reported in the 2018 ERP Report (PDF; registration required). What is surprising is how the use of ERP is spreading to many other sectors ...
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GDPR: The Management Issue Too Few ERP Executives Are Thinking About
GDPR: The Management Issue Too Few ERP Executives Are Thinking About Perhaps the most serious issue that few businesses in the U.S. are paying any attention to is the European Union regulation that comes into affect on May 25, 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation, usually referred to as the ...
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Marcus Harris Tech Attorney What to Know about Facebook, Data Collecting and Privacy
Marcus Harris Tech Attorney What to Know about Facebook, Data Collecting and Privacy Marcus Harris interview on Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal. According to Taft Stettinius & Hollister attorney Marcus Harris, “Cambridge Analytica used methods such as offering Facebook users ‘free personality quizzes’ in order to gain insight into their political beliefs and ...
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Should States Pass Their Own Laws to Protect Net Neutrality?
Attorney Marcus Harris discusses net neutrality on WKZO.com (see below for full interview) Transcript Below WKZO Host: The State of Washington just became the first state to pass their own laws requiring protection of net neutrality. It somewhat flies in the face of a recent FCC decision. Here to talk ...
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Some FAQs About Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Why I Moved My Practice
Some FAQs About Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Why I Moved My Practice Clients and potential clients have asked why I moved practice and have asked about my new firm. Answers to those questions are below: What made you decide to move your practice to Taft Stettinius & Hollister? Taft ...
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Protecting Developers, Vendors and Implementers Against ERP Security Breaches
It’s only a matter of time. Although it has not happened yet, eventually a major Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) system will get hacked. An ERP system can reveal scads of data about manufacturing processes, trade secrets, or banking information that would be incredibly valuable to a foreign power or corporation ...
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Marcus Harris Discusses Net Neutrality Repeal
The repeal of Net Neutrality will have a substantial impact on digital marketing – Attorney Marcus Harris explains why in this interview with AListDaily. http://www.alistdaily.com/technology/net-neutrality-marketing/ ...
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Marcus Harris Discusses the Decision of McAfee & Symantec to Allow Russians Source Code Access
Marcus Harris Discusses the Decision of McAfee & Symantec to Allow Russians Source Code Access Marcus Harris discusses the cyber-security risks associated with the decision by companies like McAfee and Symantec to allow the Russians to look at their source code.(see below for interview) ...
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How to Write the Optimal Software RFP
How to Write the Optimal Software RFP An ERP software is an expensive, time-consuming investment. Before committing to one vendor, you should do proper research to find the perfect match for your business. A request for proposal (RFP) can be the perfect tool for that. This article will explain how to put ...
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Arnstein & Lehr Partner Marcus Harris Talks ERPs And What to Do IF They Fail
Arnstein & Lehr Partner Marcus Harris Talks ERPs And What to Do IF They Fail On July 6, 2017, DigiToshi published an interview with Arnstein & Lehr Chicago partner Marcus S. Harris about “enterprise resource planning” systems. The post was directed to CEOs of small and medium sized businesses. Mr. Harris noted that “when ERPs ...
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Protecting Product Packaging And Product Configuration
Marcus S. Harris Law Journal Newsletters ​Marcus Harris authors article on registering and protecting product packaging trademarks. The article explains trade dress and ways to determine if particular packaging can be protected. Marcus also explains strategies to increase the likelihood of a successful trade dress registration and protection. To read ...
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5 Things We Can Expect from ERP This Year
This year, technological advancements are on the rise, especially for the enterprise. Artificial intelligence will gain new force, and blockchain will inch forward. Changes within the ERP industry will make serious waves. In 2018, several forms of technology will reach their tipping point, making this year crucial for tech generally ...
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Marcus Harris Quoted On Cyber-Security Risks Presented By Russian Policy
Why Partners Should Care About Russian Mandatory Source Code Reviews Kris Blackmon Channel Futures Marcus Harris, a partner in the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice, is quoted in this article. Marcus comments on a Russian policy that requires software companies to submit source code to the Russian government before entering the ...
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Russia Gets Their Hands on Widely Used ERP Software Code
Russia Gets Their Hands on Widely Used ERP Software Code Last month, Reuters reported that three enterprise resource software providers SAP, Symantec and McAfee allowed Russia to review the software’s source code for vulnerabilities. According to Reuters, “The practice potentially jeopardizes the security of computer networks in at least a ...
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SAP Indirect Access: Issues and Concerns
Earlier this year a U.K. court ruled in favor of SAP in the case against Diageo, a British alcohol beverage company, resulting in a US$70 million payout. A week after the ruling, SAP started another dispute, this time against Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the biggest brewing companies in the world ...
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Mastering your ERP Software Demonstrations
Mastering your ERP Software Demonstrations We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to get the most out of the demos of your shortlisted ERP systems. But how do you navigate vendors who are trying to showcase the best sides of their product, while minimizing product shortcomings? Here is a ...
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5 Questions To Ask Your ERP Vendor Before Going-Live
5 Questions To Ask Your ERP Vendor Before Going-Live We’ve talked a lot about the stages before an ERP implementation project begins, such as how to plan, assemble the right team, and gather support for the project. Those stages are the groundwork of a successful ERP implementation, but the time ...
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5 Questions To Ask Before Starting An ERP Implementation Project
5 Questions To Ask Before Starting An ERP Implementation Project After you have chosen a reliable ERP vendor, it might be tempting to jump right into the implementation phase. You selected a trusted project manager who delivered a project plan that seems robust. You might feel ready for the implementation, but ...
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5 Steps to Successful ERP Project Management
ERP implementation projects are big and complex, and therefore require diligent project management. A good project manager has to have good leadership and analytical skills, be able to set clear milestones and financial goals for the rest of the team, and be a great communicator. ERP implementation projects are big and ...
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Three Mistakes Enterprise Software Companies Make
#1: Promising unfinished features Software companies are in constant development. Their existing products get upgraded and new ones are added to the mix. Many are therefore tempted to sell features that are not fully developed yet. This can happen during the sales process or early in the implementation process, and ...
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How to Know When to Abandon Your ERP Project
ERP system implementation are costly and time consuming projects, and therefore should not be taken upon without planning and diligence. Unfortunately, many companies approach ERP implementations with a “shoot first, ask later” attitude, which results in failed projects that cost millions of dollars or, in worse case, bankruptcy. An ERP ...
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Lessons from Forrest Gump for Avoiding a Failed ERP Implementation
Lessons from Forrest Gump for Avoiding a Failed ERP Implementation In 1994, the lovable and surprisingly intelligent Forrest Gump gave us tidbits of life lessons in theatres around the country. The film was critically acclaimed, and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1994, with several ...
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Four Cardinal Sins Committed During  ERP Software Contract Negotiations
Many companies today employ contract specialists whose core job responsibility is to negotiate and maintain vendor and/or commercial contracts. Often, when an ERP project arises, the company decides to have the contract specialist negotiate the ERP software license and implementation contract. This can be a huge mistake.  Having experience drafting ...
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City Of Denver Violates Oracle ERP Software License And Pays Millions To “True Up” License
In an appearance before the Denver City Council’s Governance Committee in February of this year, Denver’s Chief Information Officer, Scott Cardenas, explained that the city of Denver would be paying additional license fees to Oracle as a result of breaching the scope of its license agreement. The cost to Denver’s ...
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The Differences Between Arbitration And Litigation In Software Lawsuits
After coming to the decision to sue your software vendor, one of the first steps is to determine whether to use arbitration or litigation. Depending on a multitude of factors, there are both practical and strategic reasons to use one or the other. As a preliminary matter, the software vendor ...
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Asserting Fraud In A Failed Technology Project Lawsuit
After making the decision to file a lawsuit for a failed implementation or ERP project, one of the first things that should be analyzed is the contract executed with the ERP vendor. Having analyzed hundreds of these implementation contracts, one thing is abundantly clear: they all contain language that is ...
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Thinking Of Suing Your ERP Vendor For A Failed ERP Software Implementation? Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
If you are dealing with an ERP implementation train wreck, you generally have two options: (1) do everything you can to get the software vendor to live up to its contractual obligations and make the software work; or (2) cut your losses and file a lawsuit. Failed ERP implementation lawsuits ...
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Responding Effectively To Threats Of Litigation: Tips For ERP Vendors
If you have been in business long enough, you are likely to be threatened with a lawsuit. In the context of allegations of a failed ERP software implementation, you need to quickly assess risk and create opportunities for early resolution. The goal is to make effective decisions to avoid the ...
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Five ERP Software Negotiation Tips For Manufacturing Companies From Software Licensing Attorney Marcus Harris
In the most general sense, a manufacturing business is any business that procures or refines components and raw materials to create a finished good. The finished good can be made to furnish for consumers directly, other companies to use in its own business, or to other manufacturing businesses who may ...
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Four Initial Lessons From MillerCoors v. HCL For Avoiding An ERP Software Implementation Lawsuit
On March 13, 2017, Chicago-based MillerCoors filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois against HCL Technologies (an Indian-based ERP implementer) and its American affiliate HCL America. The lawsuit is related to an SAP upgrade involving SAP’s Global Available to Promise and Extended Warehouse management software ...
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Five ERP Software Negotiation Tips For Gas & Oil Industry Companies From Software Licensing Attorney Marcus S. Harris
In our practice, we represent many Oil and Gas Industry clients. While most ERP vendors have functionality that they promote as being designed or built for the Oil and Gas Industry, there generally is not a one-size fits all solution. The Oil and Gas Industry is complex and wide ranging, ...
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MillerCoors Sues India's HCL Technologies For Failed SAP Implementation Seeking $100 Million In Damages
Earlier this month Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois against India’s HCL Technologies and its US affiliate HCL America over a recent SAP ERP implementation. MillerCoors is claiming breach of contract and seeking in excess $100 million in damages. HCL is India’s fourth-largest software ...
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Four Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Cloud Computing Start-Up
Starting any new business is difficult. Starting a new cloud computing business in a space already saturated by both entrepreneurs and established corporations is ruthless. Every dollar and every minute is precious to make your business succeed, and any misstep while growing your business may have disastrous results that, at ...
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Most failed ERP lawsuits brought against a software vendor include a claim for breach of warranty. Prior to the start of any Enterprise Software project, the warranty provisions within all contracts and agreements should have been reviewed and negotiated by the parties. These warranty provisions are often accompanied by disclaimers ...
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In our practice, we represent both ERP vendors and ERP customers in connection with licensing and litigation matters.  If an ERP software vendor is going to be sued in connection with an ERP software deal, the ERP vendor will be sued both in tort and contract. While every case is ...
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When selecting an ERP vendor and then negotiating contracts with that ERP vendor, clients are rightfully concerned about the cost of the software. From a legal perspective, our goal as ERP licensing and litigation attorneys is to draft contracts that: (i) protect your legal rights in the event of litigation; ...
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One of the most common causes of action brought against a software vendor for a filed ERP implementation is a claim for breach of contract. If proven, a breach of contract claim allows the non-breaching party to be put into the position it would have been had the breach not ...
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ERP software contracts are almost always one-sided against the Customer in favor of the ERP Vendor. Enterprise software contracts frequently contain clauses and language that are highly beneficial to the ERP Vendor in the event a customer initiates ERP software litigation. Due to the nature of these one-sided contracts, ERP ...
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Negotiating ERP Implementation Contracts To Promote Implementation Success
ERP implementation failures are increasingly common. While ERP implementations fail for a variety of reasons, an ERP implementation usually does not fail because of some fundamental defect with the software. Software implementations often fail because of: (i) poor project management; (ii) the ERP vendor’s failure to follow implementation best practices; ...
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Suing Your ERP Vendor For A Failed ERP Implementation: Four Things To Consider
If you are considering suing your ERP vendor for a failed ERP implementation, you need to ensure that you understand the process that is in front of you. ERP lawsuits are almost always difficult. Each presents unique challenges. Most importantly, they are extremely expensive. Below are some issues to keep ...
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SAP UK Ltd. v. Diageo Great Britain Limited: The Ramifications of Indirect Access in ERP License Agreements
On February 16, 2017, a UK court issued a ruling in the case of SAP UK Ltd. v. Diageo Great Britain Limited, that awarded SAP UK potentially tens of millions of dollars in damages and additional licensing fees because of Diageo’s “indirect access” of SAP software — software Diageo had ...
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The One Thing You Must Focus On To Get The Most Out Of Your ERP Software Contract Negotiation
An ERP software license by its very nature is a grant of a restricted right to access the ERP vendor’s software for a limited period under a limited set of conditions.  The ERP vendor’s unstated goal is to retain as much control over the product for the duration of the ...
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Three Lessons From ERP Implementation Failures
ERP failures and ERP lawsuits are becoming increasingly common. ERP implementation failures almost always follow predictable patterns. In the cases we litigate we often see divergent expectations and inaccurate estimates of both the time and effort to make the ERP implementation successful – let alone on time and on budget ...
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Three Ways To Avoid An ERP Lawsuit
You never want to be forced into a position where are you are contemplating suing your ERP vendor.  However, despite how many ERP vendors and ERP integrators provide implementation services, a surprising number of implementations are ultimately classified as failures. In extreme cases, these ERP implementation failures turn into ERP ...
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Tips For Negotiating With Enterprise Software Vendors Like SAP, Infor and Epicor
Upgrading a legacy enterprise software system, or licensing a new one, is one of the most important strategic decisions a company can make.  With various research indicating that a very large percentage of enterprise software implementations fail, getting it right is critical. Having a coherent strategy for not only negotiating ...
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Options When Your ERP Vendor Has Misrepresented The ERP Software Product’s Functionality Or The ERP Software’s Fit To Your Industry
When choosing an ERP vendor and entering into an ERP contract, customers expect that representations made by an ERP vendor about the features, capabilities and functionality of the enterprise resource software product are accurate.   This is not always the case. To meet sales quotas, ERP vendors sometimes overpromise and under ...
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Four Signs Your ERP Vendor Is Not Using Project Management Best Practices
ERP implementations are difficult. Every decision made by your project manager has an important impact on the project as a whole. A project manager that follows project management best practices is often the difference between ERP success and ERP failure. As a customer, it is important to have a general ...
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Should You Litigate Or Mediate Your Dispute With Your ERP Vendor
After a failed or problematic implementation, it is common to assume that taking your ERP vendor to court is your only option. However, many overlook that they do have another option: mediation. Mediation is the process of negotiation between two parties in dispute that is mediated by a neutral third ...
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ChiTech Academy Showcase: a motivated CPS tech-based high school
Earlier this month the Chicago Technology Academy held their first annual ChiTech Showcase for students, parents and supporters of Chicago’s tech-forward high school. Marcus Harris supported the event by moderating student panel discussions on current and future technology issues After the student workshops and panels concluded, students formally presented the ...
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Open Source "Piggybacking"
In a previous post, we described a lawsuit filed by Rosetta Stone against competitors for “piggybacking” Rosetta Stone’s trademarks in an attempt to divert website traffic.  CNet columnist Matt Asay analogizes this situation to an open source problem here. The open source software development culture thrives on access and sharing ...
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Dr. Dre Does It And So Should You: Fighting Counterfeiting
Earlier this week, CNN.com published a story detailing how Chinese fakes were cashing in on what CNN termed “Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones bonanza.”  Link here. According to a World Customs Organization report cited by CNN nearly 70% of all fake goods – including clothing, DVDs, and electronic goods – seized worldwide ...
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Marcus Harris supported the event by moderating student panel discussions on current and future technology issues
Earlier this month the Chicago Tech Academy held their first annual ChiTech Showcase for students, parents and supporters of Chicago’s tech-forward high school. Marcus Harris supported the event by moderating student panel discussions on current and future technology issues. Marcus commented on the event, “The Chi-Tech event was a tremendously ...
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Marcus Harris Participates in First Annual ChiTech Showcase at Chicago Tech Academy
Last week, Marcus Harris attended an organizational meeting to plan for the first annual ChiTech Showcase at Chicago Tech Academy. The showcase will take place at 5pm on Thursday, December 1st at the Academy when the students and staff demonstrate how the technology community transforms Chicago’s young people into tomorrow’s ...
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Marcus Harris speaks on contracting and negotiating business software licensing with SAP
Software Attorney, Marcus Harris, on November 2, 2011, will speak at the fall meeting of the Canadian IT Asset Management Users’ Group (CITAMUG) in Toronto. The meeting is hosted by Ms. Sherry Irwin, President and Principal Consultant at Technology Asset Management Inc. and CITAMUG Founder and Chair. A frequent speaker ...
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ALI-ABA webinar: Drafting and Implementing Ethical Law Firm Technology Policies
Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC will be taking part in hosting the Drafting and Implementing Ethical Law Firm Technology Policies webinar on Tuesday September 20, 2011. The webinar focuses on responsible technology management.  The faculty will identify the latest legal and ethical standards of compliance for technology policies and provide steps ...
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Nice shoes, are they Christian Louboutins or YSL knockoffs?
The red bottoms of Christian Louboutin shoes make each pair instantly recognizable; Christian Louboutin filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent for trademark infringement when the brand’s 2011 shoe collection featured shoes with red bottoms. Louboutin claims that the shoes are virtually identical and are likely to confuse consumers.  Despite ...
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Apple sues Amazon over the use of "Appstore"
Apple recently filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming that Amazon is infringing on Apple’s trademark by using the term “Appstore” and that such use is likely to confuse consumers.   Apple claims that is has exclusive rights to the phrase because of its iTunes App Store and that Amazon’s use of ...
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Chicago’s first ever TechWeek gains momentum as Governor Quinn signs two pieces of legislation into law. The first bill establishes technology centers at each campus of Illinois public universities.  These technology centers are designed to help students who are interested in forming their own technology startup company. The second bill ...
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This year’s TechWeek Chicago will be July 22-29 at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. TechWeek celebrates those who are impacting the technological landscape of business on a large scale.  TechWeek is a place to gain first hand knowledge about the newest technology that is shaping the business world today ...
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Digital Millennium Copyright Act
This two-part piece of legislation, enacted by President Clinton on October 28, 1998 has helped streamline the use and continued advancement of such newer technologies like the DVD and the Internet.  The main goal of the DMCA was to ensure continued protection of intellectual property rights while adjusting to the ...
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Marcus Harris on LawTalkRadio discussing the Cloud and software selection
Listen to internet radio with ALRPRA Inc on Blog Talk Radio There are a few factors we should consider when exploring cloud computing options. Software and technology attorney Marcus Harris of Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC recently appeared on LawTalkRadio to talk about the legal issues you should note when moving ...
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Software and technology attorney Marcus Stephen Harris' thoughts on cloud computing.
For many companies, switching from an on-premise software solution to a Cloud solution seems like a no brainer. But before switching, a company needs to fully understand some of the risks inherent with a Cloud solution. Storing your data in the Cloud means trusting a third party to look after ...
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Warner Bros. knocks out Mike Tyson’s tattooist in ‘Hangover Part II’ copyright suit
S. Victor Whitmill, the tattoo artist who created and tattooed Mike Tyson’s facial tribal tattoo, filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. for copyright infringement on April 28, 2011.  Whitmill claims that the facial tattoo appearing on Ed Helms’s character Stu Price in The Hangover Part II infringes on Whitmill’s rights ...
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Dealing With A Software Vendor Audit Before It Happens
Software license agreements almost always include language that allows the vendor to audit a customer’s use of the software to determine compliance with the license grant.  Standard vendor language is usually broadly drafted in favor of the vendor.  Typical language allows the vendor to conduct audits at will and capture ...
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Webinar Summary and Link: "Negotiating Software Licenses with Marcus Stephen Harris"
Negotiating software licenses is a complicated process that takes knowledge and skill.  Changing technology and new methods of software development and delivery have changed the game.  The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe.  “Negotiating Software Licenses with Marcus Stephen Harris” was broadcast as a webinar focused on understanding ...
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Top 15 Comical Trademark Applications
The Business Insider ran an article containing what it deemed to be some of the most ridiculous trademark attempts.  Some of the applications were approved and some were not so lucky.  A summary of the trademarks is below. 15. Jersey Shore Star, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi trademark application for “Snooki” was denied ...
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How Much Would You Pay For A Domain Name, $10,000?
A strong and recognizable domain name is critical for a successful business.  However, coming up with a good domain name that allows you to grow your business, avoids the inadvertent  infringement of the intellectual property rights of others, but still generates brand equity is incredibly difficult. Coming up with a ...
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Why Your Software License Limitation of Liability Clause May Not Limit Your Liability.
Software licenses contain standard provisions limiting the liability of the vendor. Typical provisions have a two-tiered structure that: (i) disclaims liability for lost profits, incidental, consequential and indirect damages, loss of good will, data loss, computer failure, or punitive damages; and (ii) places a limit on overall damages under the ...
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Yellow Tail sues Little Roo for trademark infringement: can you differentiate a wallaby from a kangaroo?
The Australian makers of Yellow Tail wine, the best-selling wine in the United States recently filed suit against The Wine Group LLC, the maker of Little Roo, in a New York federal court, alleging trademark infringement.  At issue is the likelihood of consumer confusion based on the depiction of a ...
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Ford Sues Ferrari for F-150 Trademark Infringement
Ford Motor Co. has filed a lawsuit against Ferrari for trademark infringement stemming from Ferrari’s decision to use the term F150 in connection with the upcoming Formula 1 season.  Ferrari’s new race car is called the F150 in celebration of the 150th year of Italian unification.  Ford claims that Ferrari ...
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Technology Attorney, Marcus Stephen Harris: I think that other telecom companies will certainly challenge the FCC's authority to promulgate regulations concerning net neutrality.  They will most likely do it in venues other than the venue where Verizon and Metro PCS' filed their challenges.  This will most likely result in certain ...
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On January 20th, the attorneys of Marcus Stephen Harris attended the midVentures Design+Develop Series intro to iPhone and Android App development.  The discussion was geared to designers, developers and product managers.  Uki D. Lucas of ChicagoAndroid and Chris Grove, CTO of KeyLimeTie talked about the differences in developing apps for ...
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Marcus Stephen Harris LLC attorneys will attend Midventures Design + Develop Series on iPhone and Android App development
On January 20th the attorneys of the technology law firm of Marcus Stephen Harris LLC will attend Midventures Design + Develop Series on iPhone and Android App development.  The event is billed as an introduction to app development on the iPhone and Android. Keynote speakers include Uki Lukas of ChicagoAndroid ...
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Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC Attorneys Host Social Media Roundtable
Republished from INTA Promotional Literature Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC Attorneys host Social Media Roundtable in conjunction with the International Trademark Association. February 28–March 11 - Find out how two hours of your time will change how you look at social media and trademarks. Topics to be covered:•    Social Media ...
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Microsoft Takes Issue With Apple's App Store
On January 10th, 2011, Microsoft filed a Motion for Summary Judgment at the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board challenging Apple's attempts to own exclusive rights to the term App Store.  Microsoft argues that App Store is a generic term incapable of functioning as a trademark and therefore should not ...
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Negotiating software licenses is a complicated process that takes knowledge and skill. Changing technology and new methods for software development and delivery have changed the game. The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe. This webinar will focus on understanding software licenses, their legal background and how to maximize ...
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Panel Speaker Marcus Harris Presents At “Lawyers Avoid Legal and Business Pitfalls in Social Media”
On October 16 and 27, 2010, Marcus Stephen Harris is the attorney guest panelist at the first of a series of quarterly social media safety and etiquette series produced by the ALR/PRA, Inc., law practice management agency in Chicago.  The event titled "Lawyers Avoid Legal and Business Pitfalls in Social ...
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Schwarzenegger v. EMA/Entertainment Software Association – CA Ban on Violent Video Games
The U.S. Supreme Court has currently accepted several amicus curiae briefs on Case No.: 08-1448, better known in press as Case No.: 08-1448.  The issue in this matter is the State of California’s Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 which states in pertinent part: “A person may not sell or rent a ...
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Radio Show Appearance:  Marcus Stephen Harris on Net Neutrality and Intellectual Property
Listen to internet radio with ALRPRA Inc on Blog Talk Radio On September 16, 2010, Marcus Stephen Harris appeared on the Lawyers’ Toolbox show on ALR/PRA Law Talk Radio to discuss Net Neutrality and the impact of internet regulation.  Topics addressed in this appearance include copyright and other intellectual property considerations, ...
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On August 13-15, the attorneys of Marcus Stephen Harris LLC attended SocialDevCamp 2010, exchanging ideas and providing insights on the law’s impact on app development and the inclusion of social media. For those unfamiliar with SocialDevCamp it is billed as an “un conference” and “summer camp for the social web.” ...
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Facebook Sues TeachBook for Trademark Infringement
While its been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is seldom the way its taken when it comes to trademarks.  Facebook, a popular provider of online networking services, filed a federal lawsuit against Teachbook, an online community for teachers based in Northbrook, Illinois. Facebook claims that the use of ...
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10 Solid Tips For Naming Your Company
Earlier this month CrowdSPRING, an online market place for creative services, identified 10 tips for startups on naming your company. Briefly, the 10 tips are: 1. Think about what you want your company name to convey. 2. Brainstorm to identify name possibilities. 3. Keep the name short, simple, and easy to ...
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The Android operating system runs smart phones and other mobile devices
Database management systems giant, Oracle filed its COMPLAINT FOR PATENT AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT against Google alleging that Google’s development of the Android operating system infringed upon Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.  The Complaint filed August 12, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California includes a Jury ...
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SaaS Strategies for Transcending The Burden of Legacy Apps
R. Ray Wang, on his Software Insider’s Point of View blog, discusses the challenges organizations face in gaining buy-in and realizing the benefits of SaaS/Cloud application.  Ray details the top ten most common strategies for transcending the burden of legacy apps. Briefly, they are: 1. Point Solutions;2. SaaS Best of Breed ...
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Marcus Stephen Harris, LLC firm to attend SocialDevCamp 2010 at McCormick Place in Chicago
This weekend the attorneys of the technology law firm of Marcus Stephen Harris LLC will attend SocialDevCamp 2010.  This is the third annual conference, also known as an “unconference,” the event is truly a “summer camp for the social web.”  According to its organizer, ChiTAH (a Chicago Technology Community) this ...
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SAP Will Not Contest Liability in Oracle Suit
The Wallstreet Journal is reporting that SAP is willing to accept liability for copyright infringement in Oracle's TomorrowNow.Article here: http://bit.ly/apjuBiCourt Filing here: http://bit.ly/cutZpd ...
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Limited Seating Available: Marcus Stephen Harris LLC Software Licensing Seminar Series - Revenue Recognition
If you are involved in the acquisition or contracting of computer software, you need to attend: CIOs • CTOs • CFOs • Contract negotiators • In house counsel • Attorneys • IT managers and directors • Contract managers • Contract administrators • Purchasing agents • Consultants YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO:• Analyze revenue recognition issues• Learn to negotiate ...
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Burlington Coat Factory Pays Treble Damages to Fendi
Burlington Coat Factory was ordered Monday to pay triple damages to Fendi for knowingly infringing Italian fashion company Fendi's trademarks. The discount retailer was found to have been selling counterfeit Fendi goods from unauthorized retailers for decades. Fendi sued Burlington back in 1986 for purchasing counterfeit products and in 1987 ...
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Register Now for Marcus Stephen Harris LLC Software Licensing Seminar Series - Revenue Recognition
Negotiating software licenses is a complicated process that takes knowledge and skill. Revenue-recognition problems are arguably the leading cause of restatements among software companies. The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe. Some of the basic criteria for recognizing revenue are dependent on the structure and terms of a ...
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Oracle Sues Support Firm Over “Massive Theft.” Sound Familiar?
On Monday January 25, Oracle filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the District of Nevada, where it claims that third party support provider Rimini Street's business model revolves around illegally helping itself to Oracle's support offerings.Oracle is alleging "massive theft" of its software and support materials via illegal ...
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6 Tips for Independent Video Game Developers
1. Development: NDAs and Employment Agreements;  2. Pre-release: Identify Your Intellectual Property; 3. Pre-Release: Register Your Intellectual Property; 4. Release – Define The Permissible Use(s) Of Your Game; 5. Release – Define What People Can’t Do With Your Game; 6. Post Release – Enforce Your Intellectual Property Rights ...
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No Doubt Sues Activision
The LA Times is reporting that on November 5th NoDoubt filed suit in LA Superior Court against Activision alleging that Activision has exceeded its contractual rights by depicting the band inActivision's Band Hero video game singing other artist's songs. No Doubt is seeking unspecified damages as wellas a preliminary and ...
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The Importance of Trademark Searching
We had a brief conversation with a prospective trademark client recently. This client failed to fully comprehend the importance of trademarking.  This is relatively common in our practice, but this client's take was a bit different. His rationale for not needing to secure a trademark registration for his product name ...
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Free Software is Copyrightable; Open Source Train Rolls On
A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reassured members of the open source software movement by declaring that software distributed for free is still protectable by copyright. Open source software development thrives on continuous additions and improvements made by many different people, but attribution of ...
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Revamped Certification Mark is Kansas' Latest Effort to Promote its Own
The State of Kansas is updating the stamp of approval it gives to local growers.  Now, products that have at least 75% of their ingredients from, or processing in, Kansas can apply to display the certification mark Simply Kansas. For the past 30 years, a similar certification mark had been ...
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Dell's Attempt to Trademark "Cloud Computing" Hits a Wall
The software giant's attempt to trademark the term "cloud computing" has been the topic of lots of recent tech buzz.  Cloud computing refers to a type of technology whereby software is accessed remotely by users who have no control over the infrastructure which supports the software.  Both this infrastructure and ...
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Sony BMG Settles with Louis Vuitton
The French fashion house filed suit last year against the recording company for allowing several of its artists to display unauthorized Louis Vuitton trademarks in their music videos and on CD literature.  The matter has reportedly been settled for about $156,000. Fashionphile has managed to capture stills from the infringing ...
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Nickelodeon and Other Companies Not Clowning Around With Their I.P.
It seems like just yesterday a kid's birthday party could be put over the top by the appearance of a regular old birthday clown.  Some of the kids would be entertained, most would be petrified, and the party would be a success regardless.  These days, writes Katherine Rosman of the ...
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Gucci and the Godfather: Counterfeit Purses May Fund Organized Crime
Federal agents are stepping up efforts to curb the proliferation of counterfeit purses.  Designer knock-offs have become so ubiquitous that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency ("ICE") is concerned that their sale is a key revenue source for organized crime syndicates. In a news story here, Nebraska TV station KETV7 ...
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Apple Seeks to Torpedo Attack of the Clones
Florida corporation Psystar Corp., owned by brothers Rudy and Robert Pedraza, has been sued by Apple Inc. for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and breach of contract.  Psystar builds and sells so-called "cloned" computers which run on Apple's most recent operation system, Mac OS X "Leopard." In the complaint, filed last ...
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EBay wins Trademark Tangle with Tiffany & Co.
A federal court ruling last week absolved EBay, Inc. of any liability for contributory infringement of Tiffany & Co.'s registered trademarks. The lawsuit, in which Tiffany alleged that most of the supposedly genuine Tiffany jewelry appearing for sale on eBay were in fact fakes, was initiated in 2004. Judge Richard ...
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Former IBM Exec. Pleads Guilty to Trade Secret Theft
Atul Malhotra, 42, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of theft of trade secrets. Malhotra was a director of sales and business development in IBM's Global Services Division for nearly a decade, from 1997-2006.  He obtained confidential pricing info ...
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Crocs Copycats?  Skechers Sued.
An earlier post detailed foam footwear manufacturer Crocs Inc.'s subsidiary's legal defense of its intellectual property.  This time, the parent company is alleging illicit mimicry of its designs and logo by Skechers USA, Inc.  in its new Nano Lite foam shoes. In a complaint filed July 10 in U.S. District ...
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War of Words: Rosetta Stone Sues Competitor
Rosetta Stone Ltd provides software programs which help people learn new languages.  Courses of varying difficulty are available, in numerous languages, and are marketed to consumers in bright yellow boxes via print ads (who could forget the plight of the hardworking farm boy, who must quickly learn Italian to impress ...
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Ernst & Young Sued for $10M+ for Incorrect Software Valuation
Thursday, June 27, Canadian software-holding company Pan-Afric Holdings Ltd. sued Ernst & Young LLP in U.S. District Court in Maryland for over $10 million in damages, claiming the accounting giant made mathematical errors in preparing a software valuation report on which Pan-Afric detrimentally relied. In 1993, for $5 million, Pan-Afric ...
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Tips For Negotiating With SAP
One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make when they are negotiating a software license agreement with SAP is that they focus solely on pricing and discounts to the exclusion of other important issues contained in the SAP software license agreement. Focusing solely on pricing while ignoring the other ...
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ERP Implementation Analogies
From the ERP and More! Blog - the top 7 ERP Implementation Analogies: 1. The implementation will be like open heart surgery while the patient is still alive and working. 2. An ERP implementation is like the corporate equivalent of a brain transplant. 3. I think of ERP implementations like mountain ...
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LimitNone LLC sues Google for Trade Secret Misappropriation
A tiny Palatine, IL-based software company has sued giant Google Inc., alleging that Google misappropriated the company’s trade secrets.  LimitNone LLC, a software startup with fewer than five employees, developed a software tool to help users of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Outlook email client move their data to Google’s online programs. The ...
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SAP Settles i2 Patent Infringement Suit For $83 Million
SAP has agreed to pay i2 $83 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit brought by i2 in 2006. According to an i2 SEC filing, the settlement was reached on June 23.  A copy of the SEC filing is located here ...
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Tips For Negotiating With SAP
This is the first in a series of posts dealing with the SAP contract negotiation process. SAP's  market dominance often leaves customers with little negotiating leverage.  Companies that have a well developed negotiation strategy, an understanding of SAP's typical concessions, pricing structure and contractual "pain points," greatly increase their chances of ...
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Trademark Applicants - Beware of Trademark Service Solicitations
An earlier post cautioned trademark owners about official-looking correspondence that appears to be from the USPTO.  These mailings are in fact solicitations for enrollment in optional trademark services, some of which may have some value to some owners, but most of which are purely superfluous. Recently, our clients have received ...
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The Story of Mortal Kombat
An interesting video from last year discussing the history of Chicago-based Midway Games' Mortal Kombat  series  located here ...
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Chicago Fashion Designer Mario Pinto Featured in Wall Street Journal
Chicago designer Mario Pinto (whose clients include Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey) is featured in today's Wall Street Journal.  Of note is the fact that Ms. Pinto's first business was not successful.  In response she surrounded herself with mentors in finance, law and other areas outside of fashion. The importance ...
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SAP To Buy Visiprise
SearchSAP.com is reporting that SAP has announced its intention to purchase Visiprise, a software company that specializes in manufacturing execution.  The acquisition is intended to bolster integration capabilities with respect to NetWeaver as well as bolster  SAP's strength in the manufacturing sector. Companies using Visiprise that do not also use SAP should ...
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Assignment of Rights Doesn’t Suit Joseph Abboud
Assignment of Rights Doesn’t Suit Joseph Abboud Story here]  The injunction also On June 5, JA Apparel Corp. announced that it had secured a permanent injunction confirming its ownership of all the trademark rights associated with the brand name Joseph Abboud.  confirmed JA Apparel’s position that Abboud had violated the ...
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Trademark Applicants - Beware of Official Looking "Government Correspondence"
It is important to remember that the records kept by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are public.  Anyone with the time and inclination to search the USPTO's database is free to call up information related to any registered trademark or pending application - information which includes the trademark owner's ...
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Marcus Harris Speaks at Distribution Solutions Council
On June 12, Marcus Harris spoke to members of the Distribution Solutions Council (DSC) on software licensing and how to use the contract negotiation process as a competitive differentiator. The DSC is an industry round-table of software executives with an interest in serving the distribution marketplace, exploring new ideas beneficial to ...
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Strategies for Dealing with SAP’s Maintenance Increase – “Parking Users”
In February of this year SAP eliminated its low cost maintenance option leaving new customers with a maintenance option priced at 22% of software license fees. With the influx of SASS and third party providers like Rimini Street, SAP’s 22% increase seems counterintuitive. SAP’s maintenance increase, though, brings it in ...
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CTA Sued For Pulling Grand Theft Auto Ads
Take Two Interactive Software, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto, has sued the Chicago Transit Authority in the Southern District of New York for pulling advertisements for the video game.  The suit alleges (among other things) that the CTA's actions: are unlawful content based restrictions that violate Take Two's rights ...
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Nintendo Ordered To Pay $21 Million For Infringing Game Controller Patents
On May 14 Nintendo of America, Inc. was ordered to pay Anascape, Ltd. $21 million for infringement of Anascape's patents in designing its Wii Classic, WaveBird and Gamecube controllers. Anascape also sued Microsoft for infringement.  Anascape and Microsoft, however, settled On May 1st just prior to the start of the trial against Nintendo ...
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Crocs Bites Back
In our November 2007 newsletter, located we discussed the protectability of fashion designs in light of the introduction of the Design Piracy Protection Act (the “DPPA”), Congress’s proposed legislation to give fashion designers a clearer path to securing protection for their designs and compensation for infringements of those designs. As ...
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The Lawsuit of French Lick
The town of French Lick, Indiana has just one claim to fame.  But it’s a big one – about 6’9. ” French Lick is NBA Champion and Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird’s hometown. The Anchorage Daily News reports that a couple from Alaska had hoped to capitalize on Bird’s fame by purchasing his ...
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Nontraditional Trademarks
The Wall Street Journal in an article located here discusses Apple's successful attempt to trademark the 3-dimensional design of its iPod media player.  While the concepts discussed are standard fare for our clients and readers of our blog and newsletter,  one particular passage stands out: "companies typically don't give enough attention to the management ...
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SAP's Profits Drop 22%
SAP recently reported a steeper than expected drop in Q1 profits. SAP was apparently impacted by acquisition related costs, the weaker dollar and delayed investments on new software. If you are currently involved in a software acquisition with SAP, now may be the time to aggressively seek concessions as SAP may be ...
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Gibson Guitar Takes Aim At Guitar Hero and Rock Band
 In March of this year, the Gibson Guitar Corporation, maker of the famed Les Paul Guitar, filed two patent infringement lawsuits. First, it filed suit against Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Amazon.com, Game Stop, and Toys ‘R’ Us alleging that the popular Guitar Hero games infringe Gibson’s U.S. Patent No. 5,990,405 (the ...
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BusyBox and High-Gain Antennas Settle GPL Lawsuit
The Software Freedom Law Center announced on March 6 that BusyBox and High-Gain Antennas have agreed to dismiss the GPL enforcement lawsuit filed by the Software Freedom Law Center on behalf of the BusyBox developers late last year. Consistent with previously dismissed GPL lawsuit filed by the Software Freedom Law Center ...
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Drafting The Software License Grant
Matt Karlyn, an associate at Foley & Lardner in an article on SearchCIO.com states that "it is critical to make sure that the license grant [in a software license agreement] aligns precisely with how your company intends to use the software being licensed." The scope of the license grant, as ...
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BSA Forces Settlement For Alleged Illegal Software Use
Last month the BSA reached settlements with Ron Ayers Motorsports, Sentage Corporation and TruStile Doors, LLC. Under the terms of the settlement the companies agreed to pay the BSA $72,053, $80,000 and $92,500 respectively to settle claims that they were using unlicensed copies of software on their computers. Implementing a software license ...
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SAP Eliminates Low-cost Maintenance Option
SAP has eliminated its Basic Support maintenance option priced at 17% of license fees leaving new customers with only a maintenance offering priced at 22% of license fees. Original story located here. Given SAP's new maintenance scheme, choosing a lawyer to negotiate your SAP software licensing agreement that knows what maintenance ...
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Study Finds Software Licenses Unfairly Biased, Confusing
The National Consumer Council (the "NCC") in a study reported here found that software licenses are confusing and have terms that protect the interests of the vendor over those of the end user. To anyone that has reviewed or negotiated a software license these findings are hardly surprising. Signing a license without ...
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Marcus Stephen Harris LLC Client Techland Interviewed by GCN
Marcus Stephen Harris LLC client Techland was recently interviewed  by Gaming Console Network about Techland's upcoming Xbox 360/PC zombie epic "Dead Island." Read the interview here.  Official Dead Island site located here ...
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The Specter of Revenue Recognition
In a January 28th article, located here, CFO magazine quotes Huron Consulting Group’s Jeffrey Szafran, as saying “revenue-recognition problems . . .  are probably the leading cause of restatements among software companies.” The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe. NEC (as reported in that same article) faced with ...
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