The Axact vs. Student Network Resources (SNR) Case: A New Perspective

Viewed from a legal perspective the Axact vs. SNR case has opened a new dimension. Initial research pertaining to the case shows that Drier LLP the firm whose attorney represented Axact in the SNR case was itself charged with bankruptcy and its founder Marc Drier was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment due to his involvement in a massive investment fraud case. It seems that due to Drier LLP’s bankruptcy and Drier’s implication in a fraud case, Axact ended its legal relationship with Drier LLP and did not pursue the SNR case any further.

A recent article on Wikipedia is a testimony behind Drier’s tarnished image and the bankruptcy of Drier LLP. The facts outlined in this article are also supported by another article appearing on CNN.com which proves that Drier LLP indeed got bankrupt and Marc Drier is an international fraudster implicated in several scams and frauds. According to the article Drier had pleaded guilty on May 11, 2009 to eight charges in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

To make matters worse Drier LLP’s attorneys abandoned Axact’s representation in a highly objectionable manner due to which the defendants reopened and reactivated the discussion forum at their website essaryfraud.org where major of the libelous material previously published against Axact appeared again.
Such events compelled Axact to consult its local lawyers in Pakistan and upon their advice Axact filed a lawsuit in Pakistan in order to recover the damages and injunctions the company received in relation to the case.

It seems that Axact was also disappointed with its attorneys from Drier LLP and thus the company filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Sindh at Karachi, Pakistan against the defendants and acquired a decree and judgment for damages amounting US $6million and other remedies since the defendants opted not to join the suit even after served with several court notices and summons.

In conclusion it is suffice to assume that the bankruptcy of Drier LLP along with its founder Marc Drier’s personal involvement in massive investment scams were the key reasons why Axact ended its legal relationships with Drier LLP and thus didn’t pursued the SNR case any further. It seems that the closure of the Essayfraud website also took place due to the local case filed by Axact at the Sindh High Court.

Finally Drier LLP’s bankruptcy clearly outlines the fact that any reputable company should consider all pros and cons while hiring a firm to fight its case as a wrong decision to hire a firm whose own credibility is at stake can lead to disastrous circumstances for the company in the future.

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Intellectual Property Laws & the Internet

The growth of the Internet has put pressure on traditional intellectual property protections such as copyright and patent. Some forms of information, when made accessible on the Internet, are easily copied. Because the costs of copying are low and because copying is often anonymous, publishers have often responded with more aggressive enforcement of existing intellectual property rights and with calls for extensions of those rights to cover additional content, new media and new forms of access.

Copyright Issues Related to the Internet
The technology of the Internet provides a new medium for dissemination of information, and this new medium presents numerous challenges to traditional norms of copyright law. Most fundamentally, the Internet provides a means of nearly effortless and essentially perfect duplication and dissemination of works such as texts, pictures, audio-visual material, and other authorship for which copyright law provides certain exclusive rights to owners.

Trademark and Related Issues
Businesses and other organizations are accessible to one another over the Internet by particular World Wide Web addresses, known as “domain” names. Because of the unstructured nature of the Internet and particularly the Web, users often locate organizations by searching for domain names that correspond to the organization’s name. Not surprisingly, numerous disputes have arisen where companies with similar names, or manufacturing the same types of products, have wanted to adopt similar or identical domain names.

Patent Law and the Internet
Unlike the copyright and trademark issues brought to the fore by the rising popularity of the Internet, fundamental patent law norms are not subject to challenge by the Internet. The Internet’s popularity has spawned tremendous interest in certain patents related to enabling technology for the Internet. The growth of the Internet has provided certain new tools for patent research and analysis that were not previously available.

Trade Secret Law Developments
The law of trade secrets continues to have strong application in Internet-related industries, but the very nature of the Internet makes maintenance of trade secret information inherently difficult. Since information can be disseminated over the Internet almost effortlessly, once information finds its way onto the Internet it will be extremely difficult to claim trade secrecy for such information.

In conclusion
Different treaties have provided different levels of protection or address only specific limited issues in countries around the world. In some countries, the signing of the treaty is sufficient to give direct effect to the protections, which can then be relied on by nationals of other states. The internet so far lacks the infrastructure to fully secure ones’ intellectual property rights.
Q. Who would police the implementation of intellectual property laws worldwide?
Q. Which nation’s law will take precedence over the other in case of infringements?
Q. Why doesn’t UN create a global infrastructure to combat the issue?
Q. What are the qualifications for protection?
Q. What are the possible limitations on rights?
Q. What steps can individuals take to protect their creation?
Q. What technological advancements have been made to identify and block copied content of various media?

What is your view on the benefits of such legal procedures and what is the gain to the business community in general? Please share your comments.