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Bowers v. Baystate Technologies, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
320 F.3d 1317 (2003)


Harold Bowers (plaintiff) sold a software program that included a shrink-wrap license that prohibited users from reverse engineering the program’s code. Bowers offered to work with Baystate Technologies, Incorporated (Baystate) (defendant), but Baystate refused, thinking it could develop its own software. Baystate subsequently sold a competing software program with similar features to Bowers’s program. Baystate sued Bowers for a declaratory judgment to establish noninfringement, invalidity, or unenforceability of Bowers’s patent. Bowers counterclaimed, alleging copyright infringement and breach of contract. After a trial, the jury determined that Baystate had infringed Bowers’s contract and had breached the terms of the shrink-wrap license by reverse engineering Bowers’s code. Baystate appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rader, J)

Concurrence/Dissent (Dyk, J.)

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