MPA 670 WK3 DISCUSSION – BLISS COUNTY

MPA 670 WK3 DISCUSSION – BLISS COUNTY

Discussions should be a minimum of 50 to 150 words in length. Please remember to cite your references.Bliss County decided to develop a new accounting package, called Auto-Financial. Two years into the project and millions of County development dollars later, Auto-Financial is ready for trials; the County has installed the software on its system and has begun implementing the switchover.  The County hopes to recoup some of its development costs by selling the software to other municipalities.  However, a problem has recently arisen. Jan, a computer programmer, left the County to join Fred, a programming consultant, to form their own company, Accounting Developers, which will develop a line of financial software tools aimed at government users.  In fact, Accounting Developers just announced the introduction of its first product, “Finance-Omatic,” which is quite similar to Auto-Financial.  Both Fred and Jan worked on the Auto-Financial program; however, there were no written employment or consulting contracts.The County believes Jan and Fred have stolen the County’s trade secrets, such as input and output requirements and forms, among other things, and are infringing on the County’s copyrighted computer programs.  The County is also concerned with the patentability of Auto-Financial, both in general and in light of the problems with Jan and Fred.Discuss all the IP issues in this case (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents), including who owns what IP and why.  How could the County avoid such problems in the future?  Be sure to support your conclusions using an IRAC analysis of the applicable laws.

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