From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...
Avtec Systems, Inc. v. Peiffer
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
67 F.3d 293 (1995)
Jeffrey Peiffer (defendant) worked for Avtec Systems, Inc. (Avtec) (plaintiff), a space-related technology company, from 1984 to 1992. In 1985 Peiffer created a computer-software program that performed orbital simulations for satellites. Peiffer created the program at home, on his own computer, and without direction from Avtec. However, in 1988 Peiffer showed Avtec’s president the original version of the program, known as the .309 version. Between 1988 and 1992, Peiffer also demonstrated the program to potential Avtec clients. At one point, an Avtec employee identified errors in the program, which Peiffer corrected. Peiffer’s supervisor told Peiffer that Avtec was not interested in the program. Peiffer then met with Paul Kisak (defendant) and granted an exclusive license to market the corrected version of the program, known as the .205 version, to Kisak’s company, Kisak-Kisak, Inc. (KKI) (defendant). In 1992 Avtec filed for copyright ownership of the .309 version and brought suit against Peiffer, Kisak, and KKI in federal district court. Avtec alleged copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, and the breach of a fiduciary duty. The court found that the .309 version was not created by Peiffer in the scope of his employment and therefore was not a work for hire to which Avtec had a valid claim of ownership. Avtec appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Phillips, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 619,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 619,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.