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Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you today.
The actions you are describing create civil liability (not criminal).
The causes of action if you wished to pursue them would be under torts of "intellectual property infringement" "intentional interference with business relationship", and "conversion"
While I cannot give you a specific legal strategy through this forum (we are prohibited from practicing law through this website), you do have the option of suing this person in civil court for injunctive relief (prohibiting them from using your software in the future under the penalty of paying you future damages or other money relief), you may sue them for damages caused to your software, and you can sue them for punitive damages for their intentional conduct (while you cannot sue for a specific amount, the Court or a jury will set a specific amount for these damages after trial based on an assessment of their wrongdoing).
Thank you. Now what if the software I developed competed with an existing and established market participant and one could argue that their action restricted competition, perhaps intentionally. Would that not be regarded as a violation of the Sherman Act and would that not imply criminal misconduct ?
I don't think so.
Violations of the Sherman Act require some more specific legal analysis that perhaps speaking with an attorney in person may be able to assist you with, but under the set of facts you have posted, this does not sound like a Sherman Act violation, it sounds like a civil act of one person taking your intellectual property for their own use (reverse engineering) as opposed to the market participant itself intentionally sabotaging your product to defeat competition in the marketplace.
Ok thanks. In a different scenario where a market participant itself intentionally sabotaging your product to defeat competition in the marketplace, would that constitute a violation of the Sherman Act ? What would be the appropriate response to such a scenario, i.e. should the incident be reported to a regulator rather than prosecuting on my own name ?
Understood, thanks for clarifying. I know that many States have explicit laws against Sabotage (against commercial competitors), in some cases logging it as a serious offense. How is Sabotage regarded in the New York State ? (Whether dictated by State or Federal Law)
With regards XXXXX XXXXX Case:
While the case involved a relatively low-level ex-employee at a financial firm, the government has taken a particularly hard line. The district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, have made the prosecution of corporate espionage and high-tech theft a top priority.
“Employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State.” Cyrus R Vance
The district attorney charged Mr. Aleynikov with the unlawful use of secret scientific material and duplication of computer-related material, both felonies under New York State law.
Are you saying that the enforcement is stricter against employees of large corporations than against corporations themselves ?