Michael Mohr v. Science and Engineering Services, LLC

DisputeSoft was engaged by Science and Engineering Services, LLC (SES) in the matter of Michael Mohr v. Science and Engineering Services, LLC, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Case No. 5:14-cv-00045. Michael Mohr brought a copyright infringement claim against SES with regard to the Aviation Maintenance Inventory Program (AMIP), software that tracks the parts of disassembled helicopters. Mohr received a copyright for AMIP in early 2010, after beginning employment with SES, but failed to deposit the full source code for AMIP with the U.S. Copyright Office. In 2013, Mohr resigned from SES and brought suit, alleging that SES had exceeded the scope of the software license, violated the copyright, and created a hostile work environment. SES argued that Mohr did not own a valid copyright to AMIP because the program was a “work made for hire.”

DisputeSoft reviewed the source code and metadata of the AMIP program to determine whether Mohr was the original author of the software or if it had been copied from software which he had not written. In addition, our experts analyzed Mohr’s claim to determine whether it was a “work made for hire” and whether the software was ineligible for copyright under the scènes à faire doctrine. Our experts also interviewed fact witnesses, drafted interrogatories, and prepared deposition questions.

Managing Partner Jeff Parmet concluded that Mohr had not produced a true and accurate copy of the AMIP program as it existed on the date of copyright registration; that AMIP was in fact a “work made for hire;” and that the scènes à faire doctrine rendered portions of AMIP ineligible for copyright protection. Mr. Parmet proffered these opinions in an expert report on behalf of SES on March 23, 2015 and gave deposition regarding his analysis on May 5, 2015. On August 31, 2016, the court granted SES’s summary judgment motion and issued an opinion in favor of SES, dismissing Mohr’s claims.

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