DisputeSoft was engaged as an expert witness in October 2020 by United Merchant Services, Inc. (“UMSI”) in the matter of United Merchant Services, Inc. v. JK Systems, Inc. and Ho Kim.
DisputeSoft acted as copyright software expert witnesses in this copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, involving a dispute over point-of-sale software for the dry cleaning industry.
In 2004, the co-defendant, Ho Kim, entered into an employment agreement with UMSI’s predecessor, Royal Western Computer Corporation, Inc. Under the agreement, which contained non-compete and confidentiality provisions, Mr. Kim agreed to update and maintain Royal Western’s existing point-of-sale software for dry cleaning, known as “Royal Touch.” Mr. Kim supported the Royal Touch software until his departure from Royal Western in December 2012. In November 2017, Mr. Kim formed his own company, JK Systems, Inc., which marketed competing dry cleaning software known as “Rainbow POS.”
In August 2019, UMSI acquired various Royal Western assets, including rights to the Royal Touch software. UMSI subsequently registered the copyright for Royal Touch with the U.S. Copyright Office. On July 27, 2020, UMSI sued Mr. Kim and JK Systems, claiming infringement of its copyright in the Royal Touch software and breach of the employment agreement’s non-compete and confidentiality provisions.
UMSI subsequently engaged DisputeSoft to analyze the parties’ source code for literal similarities and conduct forensic examinations of UMSI’s hard drives to locate additional relevant materials.
As a software expert witness for UMSI, DisputeSoft:
- Performed automated comparisons of the Royal Touch and Rainbow POS source code to identify instances of literal similarity.
- Conducted background research on the parties’ Visual Basic source code to locate evidence of third-party authorship.
- Compared the directories of the parties’ competing systems to identify structural and organizational similarities.
- Conducted a forensic examination of hard drives belonging to UMSI to locate versions of the Royal Touch source code pre-dating the copyright registration materials.
UMSI and Mr. Kim entered into a settlement agreement in August 2021.
Learn more about our Source Code Examination Services
DisputeSoft provides source code examination and computer forensics services to law firms engaged in complex software disputes.
Related Experts: Jeff Parmet, Tom Ashley
Service Areas: Source code audit examination, Software copyright infringement, Computer forensics expert witnesses