Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Battle over software could set new IPR precedent

Software firm Kensoft Infotech’s allegations of hacking,reverse engineering and tampering of their software against Sundaram BNP Paribas Housing Finance has opened a discussion on the protection of entrepreneurs with IT and Intellectual Property Rights experts calling for protection of individual rights.

Software firm Kensoft Infotech’s allegations of hacking,reverse engineering and tampering of their software against Sundaram BNP Paribas Housing Finance has opened a discussion on the protection of entrepreneurs with IT and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) experts calling for protection of individual rights.

“We need to motivate smaller enterprise and create a situation where everyone’s rights are protected. In such cases,the bigger players take advantage of the smaller ones and as such we need to set deterrence to ensure that such situations do not arise,” said R M Sonar,associate professor of Information from IIT Bombay,who studied the case.

While the criminal case has reached the Mumbai Sessions Court,where Sundaram BNP Paribas HF’s MD Srinivas Acharya and four senior management officials have filed for an anticipatory bail against the FIR lodged by Kensoft,experts who have conducted an independent enquiry and are part of the Intellectual Property (IP) cell of IIT Bombay agree this case may set a precedent for future IPR violations.

The matter pertains to a home finance software termed KEN-HFS,designed and developed by Kensoft Infotech Limited. The complainant,Kensoft director Virendra Singh claims in the FIR that the product was developed in 1992 and had clients such as Bank of India,GIC Housing Finance,ICICI Bank among others. While Sundaram BNP Paribas HF was also a licensed user for over seven years,the vendor in 2008 alleged that the client (Sundaram BNP Paribas HF) tampered with the software through reverse engineering and inserted external source code without authorisation. Later,Sundaram MD Nitin Palany sent an e-mail in December 2008 claiming they were owners of the product developed by the Kensoft.

Subscriber Only Stories
JK Cement’s SPSU Udaipur Launches ‘Golden Batch 2022’ In Collaboration Wi...Premium
Appendicitis in Children- A new lifestyle disorderPremium
Re-Defining The Tradition In Folk Art: An Art Educator’s PerspectivePremium
Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences (SSSS) launches undergraduate program...Premium

The IP Cell of Industrial Research and Consultancy Centre,of IIT Bombay,which specialises in making policies on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has,after studying the agreements,proposals,letter of intent,product study and extracts of appreciation,concluded: “The IPR and copyright of Kensoft Housing Finance Software belong to Kensoft,claiming and usurping the IPR of KEN-HFS by any cient to whom KEN-HFS has licensed their product is completely unethical,dishounourable and unacceptable.”

Another expert,though not wishing to be named,said,“I have known their software and IPR in relation to an arbitration that I was doing for one of Kensoft’s clients and I have even told the cyber crime department that it belongs to them.” He also warned that Sundaram has committed wrong and “dug heir own grave” by going to court instead of finding an amicable solution.

However,Sundaram BNP Paribas HF in an e-mail response to The Indian Express said,“It is not an official opinion of IIT/Mumbai as confirmed by IIT/Mumbai in writing. An individual professor of IIT/Mumbai has given opinion purely based on the material given to him by Kensoft and he has not bothered to cross check the software at our end. As against this,a team of four professors of Anna University,Chennai have gone through both software and confirmed that there is no infringement of copyright. The new software used by the company is the one developed by Sundaram Infotech Solutions deriving from their experience in developing similar software for many NBFCs including companies abroad for the past many years.”

Advertisement

However,those related to IIT Bombay,deny Sundaram’s claim that IIT has given any note in writing. “IIT Bombay has not given any note in writing and they still stand by their report,” said Karuna Jain,co-ordinator,IPR Cell,Professor of Technology and Operations Management,SJMSOM,IIT Bombay who co-authored the report. “This case has all the potential to be a case law,as we are just waking up to such issues and it shows the lack of education in such fields. Importantly,one must also look at it from the point of view of small vendors who usually do not make noise,in that sense cases like this will surely act like a deterrent.”

The Crime Branch,which also covers cyber crime,claims the accused have been trying to delay the case. “They have been employing a lot many delay tactics. We have decided to appoint a lawyer representing us to handle the legal side in Chennai. This is mainly because they have still not allowed us to take mirror images of the server based in Chennai. We have a partnership with NASSCOM where we are getting all the technical guidance. We are now getting cases of this nature and we are able to understand and handle such matters better,as our department has been sensitised to handle such cases,” said Additional Commissioner of Police Deven Bharti.

First published on: 26-09-2011 at 01:24:49 am
Next Story

Lajong’s run ends in semifinals

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
X