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  1. #1

    Question Discovery and Injunction

    Hello,

    About a year ago I was offered what I thought was an hourly pay job for an at home programming job. I was lead down the hourly rate path in the pre contract signing discussions. I signed contracts agreeing not disclose any trade secrets or propriety information. I also agreed NOT to develop lab software for 3 years after I quit. About 2 months later just as I was getting ready to start on some of the projects the company owner said that must bid a dollar amount on each item and it must accepted before I can start. I disagreed with the owner and their were many exchanges of words between us so I claimed in a local paper under legal notices that I am no longer performing any services for them. I was never paid any money and I never wrote any code.

    I returned his software and all paperwork via a signed delivery with FedEx and I removed all of his software from my computer and performed a low level format of my hard drive. I then reinstalled all of my software. His software was all open source VBA code in MSAccess so any individual working for any of his clients who uses this software system also has 100% total access to the code. He calls it open ended code because his clients must sign contracts before he sales it to them.

    All of this is some of the background to date. It is now nearly a year later and I want to start developing Computer Games in a computer language that is no way related to VBAAccess. In fact my applications will all be compiled into machine language. I have no need for any of his VBAAccess code what so ever that is used in his lab software since my code is more likely to be C++ or C# compiled for Computer Games but I have a concern since I told him to shove it and just in case I actually make a game that becomes a success...

    Questions???

    Is their a high probability that he could convince a judge to force me into discovery and allowing him to look at my Computer Game code?

    Is their a high probability that he could convince a judge a to get an injuction freezing any sales of the Game Software?

    Thanks,

    EliteComputerProgrammer

    Another Note,,, Most all Game Source Code is extremely well guarded do to the fact that it takes many many many hours just develop the render engine alone not to mention the other aspects of the 3d visual effects within the game. Many game programmers do not even like the idea of giving a chunk of the code out for copyright protection. Being forced by a judge to show any code would pretty much be total destruction to the company.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Discovery and Injunction

    How is it relevant that you published a legal notice in a newspaper?

    If he sues you and a judge authorizes him to look at your code, you can request a protective order limiting what can be done with the disclosed code. I am not going to guess at whether he's going to sue you, or whether you would be found to be in violation of a contract I have never seen.

  3. #3

    Question Re: Discovery and Injunction

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    How is it relevant that you published a legal notice in a newspaper?
    First off, thanks for replying.

    I did it because of the not compete paragraph located within the WORK MADE FOR HIRE CONTRACT FOR SPECIAL PROJECT....

    Programmer also agrees not to develop laboratory related software without the written consent of Company Name Goes Here, including but not not limited to any Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) product. This shall cover a period of three years from the date of all services completed.

    ...which I posted my statement to set a solid date for services completed. I also had a second individual watch me place his origional software CD and all of his paperwork into the FedEx box and seal it. I also had this second individual take the package to FedEx and ship it off which required a signature from him. I got a copy of his signature from FedEx which prooves that I returned all of his materials to proove that I complied with a paragraph from the NONDICLOSURE AGREEMENT...

    Programmer agree to surrender to Company all notes, records, and documentation that was used, created, or controlled by Programmer during contract upon termination of that contract. Also, subsequent to termination of contract, Programmer agree to not use any trade secrets that have been garned while in Company's tenure.

    ...since I do not trust him such that he may claim that I never returned his material. Again more solid proof of a date and time for the return of everything that he gave me to work on.

    Even though I really do not plan to develop labortatory software this way he can not come back on me by claiming a later date if I were to decide to develop some lab software right on three year and one day point.

    I personally can no longer trust this individual at this time. After investigating his company I have found several individuals did start to work only to oddly quit right away. I physically checked out his corporate office only to find that it is a P.O. box at a UnitedParcelServiceStore. On his website and business card the way he presents his addresss it appears to be on a fourth floor of a nice office building in a very new business area but it is in fact only the PO box at the upsStore. I also have found many many errors on his wesite making it difficult to navigate and some give you error pages. Even the sequence of some of the words in his contracts have grammer errors and those should have been fixed. Both of the contracts look like they were put together by an online slap together contract company but with many grammer errors. Like I said, he lead me down the dollar per hour rate which sounded like 35 an hour for my time. This is No Workers Comp, No Unemployment, No S.S., He then said no, when I got ready to start working on his stuff. He said that I must bid a dollar amount on each item that I plan to work on. Bidding was NEVER discussed an never within any of the two contracts. This is the reason that quit without ever getting any moneys from him at all and never writing any code for him. I think he wants somebody to work very hard and get nearly nothing in return.

    I should of spent a few more days investigating his company then I would have found that I should have not started at all. I was working in a warehouse for 8 bucks an hour and dersperate for anything in my field.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If he sues you and a judge authorizes him to look at your code, you can request a protective order limiting what can be done with the disclosed code. I am not going to guess at whether he's going to sue you, or whether you would be found to be in violation of a contract I have never seen.
    Right. I seriously dought that to many judges would ever even allow it into the court room since his stuff is open source MicrosoftVisualBasicApplications (VBA) for MSaccess. This is a simple form buider that Microsoft includes with its office suite software for all of the products like MSexcel and MSaccess. Open source means that any and all individuals working in any of the labs that uses his lab software can in fact see 100% of the code which he is calling trade secrets. I am guessing but I think that a judge may question whether his stuff is truly a trade secret since anybody working for one of his clients using it can in fact see 100% of his code.

    My stuff on the other hand will be done with a completely different programming language alltogether named C# and C++. This prgramming style does in fact use a compiler to create Machine Language required for the software. This makes 100% of my source code is NOT located in the finnished product for any end user, only the machine language is avaliable. This way absolutely my product is a trade secret. My plans are to produce computer games for a few years and NOT lab software. Maybe I can do well at it since I have all of the tools and all of the skills required to put something together. I have no use what so ever for any of his open source VBA form code. My stuff will be all 100% origional and created by me.

    I am mainly concerend that this individual may try anything to weasel into my company if I actually succeed. I hope to someday actually own a corporate office building with people working for me. If he was doing well I think an actual office building would exist and not just a PObox at the upsStore.

    I am manly looking for anybody and everybody who has legal knowledge to get many oppinions on my questions...

    Questions???

    Is their a high probability that he could convince a judge to force me into discovery and allowing him to look at my Computer Game code which is NOT lab software?

    Is their a high probability that he could convince a judge a to get an injuction freezing any sales of the Game Software which is in no way related to lab software?

    Thanks,

    EliteComputerProgrammer

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Discovery and Injunction

    I doubt the judge is going to care what type of software you're producing if the allegation is that you've stolen their code. Also, we can't predict the future. We haven't seen the contract and don't know what he's going to claim, or if he's even going to try to sue you.

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