The ongoing case of Prague Integrated Transport with the computer firms of Xanthus and Aremic brings to mind the sordid example of Goldman Sachs, Sergey Aleynikov – and the Princess Bride.

Regardless of which organization wins in court, the case is a clear example of how valuable intellectual property can be and how important it is for companies to systematically manage it, whether through a DLP solution or ISO 27002.

A recent report by Czech Television describes programmers from one computer firm quietly migrating to the second, with Prague Integrated Transport(DPP) paying all the while for over-priced computer code - which might have been its own property. And, some obscure ownership transitions make the deal even more interesting but difficult to figure out.

The Prague case brings to mind the far more publicized example of Sergey Aleynikov who was accused of taking “more than 500,000 lines of source code for Goldman’s HFT [high-frequency-trading] system”  with him to a new employer. Sergey was one of the first high-profile cases of a person being arrested for stealing proprietary computer code.  While the case was later thrown out of court, he still served 11 months in prison.

In both cases, arguments over the morality of the business deal, ownership of the code, and the trail of the suspect code from one company to the second are a reminder of the film The Princess Bride, and Vizzini’s comments to the Man in Black: “You're trying to kidnap what I've rightfully stolen.”

While most companies are less powerful than Goldman Sachs – and less critical to the daily operations of a city’s mass transit system then DPP – the lesson is clear: Intellectual property has a real value. Establishing where it is, who is able to work with it, and how it can be moved from one location to another through a DLP solution such as Safetica 5 is a critical element of an organization’s continued success.

Author
Safetica team

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