An early injunction in the software intellectual property case between Green Hills Software and Express Logic has been denied, allowing Green Hills to continue to sell and support its embedded microkernel RTOS micro-velOSity product. Express Logic has sought remediation against Green Hills on the product, saying it violates its intellectual property, and claiming that Green Hills engages in unfair business practices.
A three-person arbitration panel ruled that Express Logic failed to meet its burden of proving the likelihood of success on the merits of their copyright infringement claims, according to Green Hills. Denial of the preliminary injunction motion is the first step in the resolution of the Express Logic arbitration, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2007.
John Carbone, Express Logic vice president of marketing, said that the denial of the early injunction has not dissuaded the pursuit of the full action. The final arbitration process will continue, he said, in about three months. Green Hills has also lost on some early issues, including two counter-claims, he said.
The case is one of several software-legal tussles that demonstrates the burgeoning complexity of development and deployment of software code and products. This case draws an interesting question on the use of and copyright protection for APIs.
Express Logic alleges that Green Hills' micro-velOSity is substantially similar to Express Logic's ThreadX, while significantly different from Green Hills' own velOSity RTOS, even though it's implied by name to be a size-reduced version. Based on an alleged copyright infringement, Express Logic had demanded that Green Hills immediately stop the sale and distribution of micro-velOSity.
The ruling against the early injunction does not mean that Express Logic has lost in its overall action, only on the timing for the injunction before the full arbitration hearings, said Carbone.