N » Topics » Intellectual Property

This excerpt taken from the N 10-K filed Mar 13, 2009.

Intellectual Property

Our success depends upon our ability to protect our core technology and intellectual property. To accomplish this, we rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, including trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as customary contractual protections. We view our trade secrets and know-how as a significant component of our intellectual property assets, as we have spent years designing and developing our on-demand, integrated application suite, which we believe differentiates us from our competitors.

As of December 31, 2008, we had eight U.S. and no foreign pending patent applications. We do not know whether any of our pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or whether the examination process will require us to narrow our claims. Even if granted, there can be no assurance that these pending patent applications will provide us with protection.

We have a number of registered and unregistered trademarks. We maintain a policy requiring our employees, consultants and other third parties to enter into confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements and to control access to software, documentation and other proprietary information.

In addition, we license third-party technologies that are incorporated into some elements of our services. Licenses of third-party technologies may not continue to be available to us at a reasonable cost, or at all. The steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights may not be adequate. Third parties may infringe or misappropriate our proprietary rights. Competitors may also independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to the technologies we employ in our services. Failure to protect our proprietary rights adequately could significantly harm our competitive position and operating results.

The software and technology industries are characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and by frequent litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property rights claims against us grows. Many of our service agreements require us to indemnify our customers for certain third-party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase our costs as a result of defending those claims and might require that we pay damages if there were an adverse ruling in any such claims. We, and certain of our customers, have in the past received correspondence from third parties alleging that certain of our services, or customers’ use of our services, violate these third parties’ patent rights. These types of correspondence and future claims could harm our relationships with our customers and might deter future customers from subscribing to our services.

With respect to any intellectual property rights claim against us or our customers, we may have to pay damages or stop using technology found to be in violation of a third party’s rights. We may have to seek a license for the technology, which may not be available on reasonable terms, significantly increase our operating expenses or require us to restrict our business activities in one or more respects. The technology also may not be available for license to us at all. As a result, we may be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense.

This excerpt taken from the N 10-K filed Mar 26, 2008.

Intellectual Property

Our success depends upon our ability to protect our core technology and intellectual property. To accomplish this, we rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, including trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as customary contractual protections. We view our trade secrets and know-how as a significant component of our intellectual property assets, as we have spent years designing and developing our on-demand, integrated application suite, which we believe differentiates us from our competitors.

As of December 31, 2007, we had eight U.S. and no foreign pending patent applications. We do not know whether any of our pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or whether the examination process will require us to narrow our claims. Even if granted, there can be no assurance that these pending patent applications will provide us with protection.

We have a number of registered and unregistered trademarks. We maintain a policy requiring our employees, consultants and other third parties to enter into confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements and to control access to software, documentation and other proprietary information.

In addition, we license third-party technologies that are incorporated into some elements of our services. Licenses of third-party technologies may not continue to be available to us at a reasonable cost, or at all. The steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property rights may not be adequate. Third parties may infringe or misappropriate our proprietary rights. Competitors may also independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to the technologies we employ in our services. Failure to protect our proprietary rights adequately could significantly harm our competitive position and operating results.

 

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Table of Contents

The software and technology industries are characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and by frequent litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property rights claims against us grows. Many of our service agreements require us to indemnify our customers for certain third-party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase our costs as a result of defending those claims and might require that we pay damages if there were an adverse ruling in any such claims. We, and certain of our customers, have in the past received correspondence from third parties alleging that certain of our services, or customers’ use of our services, violate these third parties’ patent rights. These types of correspondence and future claims could harm our relationships with our customers and might deter future customers from subscribing to our services.

With respect to any intellectual property rights claim against us or our customers, we may have to pay damages or stop using technology found to be in violation of a third party’s rights. We may have to seek a license for the technology, which may not be available on reasonable terms, significantly increase our operating expenses or require us to restrict our business activities in one or more respects. The technology also may not be available for license to us at all. As a result, we may be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense.

EXCERPTS ON THIS PAGE:

10-K
Mar 13, 2009
10-K
Mar 26, 2008

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