Here is How Reverse Engineering is Legal
The recent US Supreme Court ruling on the legality of reverse engineering could have a significant impact on the way in which reverse engineering software is generally developed and improved to eliminate suspicion.
The legality of reverse engineering, commonly defined as changing software machine code to make new offerings or returning to source code to improve, is now in question. A lower court has ruled that a software company violated a shrinking license agreement after unaware of a competing piece of software. The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the appeal of the accused software company.
Abolishing the widespread reverse engineering process could force developers to move away from existing product manufacturing methods, resulting in less investment in startups that rely on the process, and according to observers, the product can present new challenges with mutual potential.
Violation of the agreement decision only applies to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Patent Karen Copen Hauer said the lack of Supreme Court action could encourage some software companies to ban reverse engineering or to exercise copyright rights under their EULA (end-user license) rights. Snatch by including in contracts). Boston-based Testa, Heritz, and intellectual property advocates in Thibault.
The lawsuit in question involves software developer Harald L. Bowers, who claims that Baystate has violated a portion of the EULA’s software that allows users to access their software. Prevents software from reverse engineering. A lower court agreed and awarded the Bowers 5. 5.27 million.
As a result of this case, the EULA could face more sanctions, Copen Hauer said.
Copen Hauser said agreements between the two software developers that prohibit reverse engineering may be appropriate, but the broad prohibition in the EULA would prevent software companies from checking competitors’ products.
According to Andrew Greenberg, a lawyer at Carlton Fields Law Firm in Fla., Tampa, the case could lead to more reverse engineering lawsuits and less investment in software startup companies, which often use some form of reverse engineering to develop new products.
“Reverse engineering is very clear,” Greenberg said. “Software companies have decided to compete by looking at our competing products and making improvements.”
Furthermore, the case holds reverse engineering for the purposes of developing a piece of software that interferes with another program. Greenberg added that this gives the shrinking-wrapped license more legal status than U.S. copyright law, which has traditionally protected reverse engineering.
“Product interaction is one of the key features that made things like the Internet possible,” Greenberg said. “The issue, at its heart, rewrites copyright law and shuts it down.”