PRLS » Topics » If we fail to adequately protect our intellectual property or face a claim of intellectual property infringement by a third party, we could lose our intellectual property rights or be liable for damages.

This excerpt taken from the PRLS 10-Q filed Dec 12, 2008.
If we fail to adequately protect our intellectual property or face a claim of intellectual property infringement by a third party, we could lose our intellectual property rights or be liable for damages.

We protect our proprietary rights through a combination of, among other things, trade secret, copyright and trademark laws, as well as the early implementation and enforcement of nondisclosure and other contractual restrictions.

As part of the transaction with KMC, we sold substantially all of our intellectual property, including all of our patents to KMC and executed a license agreement pursuant to which KMC licensed the IP back to us on a nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual and royalty free basis subject to certain restrictions. Excluded from the IP that was sold to KMC was all of our customized intellectual property that had been previously integrated into products or services licensed or otherwise provided by us to third parties or specifically created for customers of ours after December 7, 2007 other than KMC and, which, in either case, had not also been provided to or integrated into products or services licensed to KMC, or developed pursuant to or in connection with certain agreements with KMC.

As part of our confidentiality procedures, we enter into written nondisclosure agreements with our employees, consultants, prospective customers, OEMs and strategic partners and take further affirmative steps to limit access to and distribution of our software, intellectual property and other proprietary information. Despite these efforts and in the event such agreements are not timely made, complied with or enforced, we may be unable to protect our proprietary rights. In any event, enforcement of our proprietary rights may be very expensive. Our source code also is protected as a trade secret. However, from time to time, we license our source code to OEMs pursuant to protective agreements, which subjects us to the risk of unauthorized use or misappropriation despite the contractual terms restricting disclosure, distribution, copying and use. In addition, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to obtain, distribute, copy or use our proprietary information, or to reverse engineer our trade secrets.

As the number of patents, copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property rights in our industry increases, products using our technologies increasingly may become the subject of infringement claims. There can be no assurance that third parties will not assert infringement claims against us in the future. Any such claims, regardless of merit, could be time consuming, divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel from productive tasks, result in costly litigation, cause product shipment delays or require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements. Such royalty or licensing agreements, if required, may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results. In addition, we may initiate claims or litigation against third parties for infringement of our proprietary rights or to establish the validity of our proprietary rights. Litigation to determine the validity of any claims, whether or not such litigation is determined in favor of us, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel from productive tasks. We may lack sufficient resources to initiate a meritorious claim. In the event of an adverse ruling in any litigation regarding intellectual property, we may be required to pay substantial damages, discontinue the use and sale of infringing products, expend significant resources to develop non-infringing technology, or obtain licenses to infringing or substituted technology. Our failure to develop or license on acceptable terms a substitute technology, if required, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
 
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