Case Study: Lethal Software Defects - Patriot Missile Failure

During the Gulf War, twenty-eight U.S. soldiers were killed and almost one hundred others were wounded when a nearby Patriot missile defense system failed to properly track a Scud missile launched from Iraq. The cause of the failure was later found to be a programming error in the computer embedded in the Patriot’s weapons control system.

Reducing Litigation Costs: Software Copyright Infringement Detection Tools

In a previously supported case of alleged software copyright infringement, the plaintiff brought suit against the defendant for allegedly continuing to use the plaintiff’s copyrighted software source code in the defendant’s products after termination of a license agreement between the parties.  Fortunately, automated tools helped experts to quickly and inexpensively detect copying of software source code.

Dead Code, the Law, and Unintended Consequences

Dead code has been frequently encountered when conducting source code reviews for litigation. The presence of dead code can have unintended legal consequences and several scenarios have been observed in which dead code heightened the probability of a loss in court.

Primer: Intellectual Property Protections for Software Engineers

There are various intellectual property protections that are available to the creators of software.  This primer will provide software engineers with a brief overview of some of the areas of IP law that are relevant to their work.

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