The Studer Group LLC v. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

The Studer Group LLC v. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a software trade secret misappropriation caseDisputeSoft was engaged as a software intellectual property expert by The Studer Group in the matter of The Studer Group LLC v. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Case No. 1:10-cv-01957. The Studer Group alleged that The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) had breached a software licensing agreement, misappropriated trade secrets, and infringed a copyright concerning a patient survey system for discharged hospital patients; CCF subsequently countersued, also alleging copyright infringement. DisputeSoft performed a comparison of the two parties’ source code to assess claims of literal and derivative copyright infringement.

DisputeSoft forensically acquired and then differentiated and rebuilt source code repositories along with the source code management systems of the systems in dispute. Our software copyright infringement experts examined the code to determine whether literal copying was present and whether the code embodied alleged trade secrets of CCF. DisputeSoft also prepared a substantial similarity analysis to determine whether non-literal elements of the programs’ screen displays exhibited derivative copyright infringement.

DisputeSoft compared the similarity of the functionality and design of the two products to assess claims of trade secret misappropriation. Our experts analyzed documents in the public domain, including published articles, patents, and patent applications, for evidence that the claimed trade secrets were in the public domain prior to the alleged misappropriation. DisputeSoft examined the Studer Group’s systems for evidence of certain functional features which CCF claimed were its trade secrets.

DisputeSoft drafted memoranda demonstrating the invalidity of CCF’s copyright infringement counterclaims. DisputeSoft Managing Partner and software copyright infringement expert Jeff Parmet proffered an expert report on behalf of The Studer Group on November 18, 2013, followed by a rebuttal report on behalf of The Studer Group on December 23, 2013. Mr. Parmet gave deposition on February 7, 2014. The case settled in May 2014.

Some of DisputeSoft’s intellectual property software experts who worked on this case were Nick Ferrara, Isaac Pflaum, Brendan McParland, Josh Siegel, and Tom Ashley.

For a description of the services we provide as intellectual property software experts, please click here.

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