The Software IP Detective's Handbook: Measurement, Comparison, and Infringement Detection

Bob Zeidman

Published by

Prentice Hall

ISBN

9780137035335

RRP

$44.99

Reviewed by

Jude Umeh FBCS CITP

Score

9 out of 10

If you’ve ever wondered how to tell when a computer program has been copied from another and, more importantly, if that constitutes some form of IP infringement, then this is the book for you. The Software IP Detective’s Handbook does exactly what it says and provides a kitbag of tools and methods that can be used to measure, compare and detect any software infringement.

This 450 page tome contains a wealth of information on various topics relating to software infringement detection, including some very useful overviews of IP theft, computer programming and source code/ execution languages, intellectual property (e.g. copyright, patents and trade secrets), as well as examples of dodgy IP business practices (i.e. IP Trolls) and forensic science.

It also contains liberal helpings of anecdotes that serve to illustrate key aspects of software IP infringement detection.

In addition, it provides some good coverage of such core topics as source code differentiation, correlation and characterisation (complete with code snippets and mathematical theory), as well as their application in IP infringement detection. It even describes how to set up a software clean room and provides some thoughts on IP implications of Open Source software, free software and the DMCA.

One particularly useful aspect of this book is how the author has taken the trouble to divide it into ten multi-chapter parts, along with a matrix of suggested parts/chapter for specific members of the intended readership. This works rather well because the book addresses topics of interest/ relevance to a wide range of professional including: lawyers, programmers, managers, consultants, expert witnesses and software entrepreneurs.

However, the downside is that it does not make for a straightforward read from cover to cover, which in itself is not a bad thing (as one can just dive into a particular topic without having first to read up on the history of assembly code).

The other less than satisfactory aspect of this work is its strong bias to the US context (e.g. US IP systems, case studies and examples), which leaves the reader with a feeling that something might be missing in its treatment of software and IP practices in other jurisdictions.

Finally, I say this book provides an authoritative discourse on the subject of software IP from the viewpoint of a truly accomplished expert in software measurement, comparison and infringement detection.

The author has made significant contributions to this field in his many roles as guru, practitioner, expert witness and eager student of the subject. You could say that he has truly ‘been there and done that’ when it comes to software IP infringement detection. I give it a resounding score of 9 out of 10

Further information: Prentice Hall

June 2012