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To be able to effectively represent Texas developers of original software and computer code, the law firm must have the technical expertise in these areas which encompasses copyright law and patent protection. However, what is typically missing is an understanding by the law firm or attorney involved as to the critical nature of the technology itself which is a key component of fathoming what the invention is all about and its import. You cannot effectively represent a client in a vacuum without knowledge of the industry, its evolution, and where it’s going. At the Moster Law Firm and particularly in its Turing Technology Group™ we try to tackle all of those matters effectively. Interestingly, we note that many of these software developers seeking legal protection are located in the Texaplex, including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston.  If you are developing software and new computer code in these large Texas urban areas, you are in good company.  Fortunately, that is where our larger offices are located at the Moster Law Firm.

For starters, no Texas law firm is worth it’s salt if it doesn’t have a clue about the Turing Test and how it applies to new technology. I’ve written extensively on this issue in various books that I have published, particularly my works, Midnight at Mount Vernon-the Cyber Surrender of the United States of America and the Teilhard’s Arrow – an Original Theory of Everything. In both of these books, I discuss why passing the Turing Test is a simple exercise given the general nature of the test itself and the ability to replicate the simulation of the human thought process. Instead, I propose a more complex test that is a better predictor of human intellect and beyond. I anticipate that over the next 10 years and certainly before 2030, the new software will be developed which will replace receptionists and customer service representatives across the board in all industries unfortunately resulting in significant unemployment displacement which is unavoidable. These systems will have a personality and be able to operate via a complex neural network with existing digital systems. Such predictions are in line with visionaries such as Ray Kurzweil and in my own books which are extremely specific.

With this predicate in mind, the work of a Texas IP lawyer becomes even more important than the superficial task of perfecting intellectual property. Although it is less expensive and quite simplistic to copyright computer code for new software, the better approach is likely to seek patent protection as well given the paradigmatic shift in the purpose of the software as I mentioned above. At the very least, I would recommend getting a provisional patent so the one-year perfection timeframe is in place.

Apart from protecting the software itself, I highly recommend that severe developmental employee and contractor constraints be implemented to protect the software itself from a contractual standpoint. No one should touch your Texas software without signing an extremely broad NDA and noncompete which are enforceable under Texas law. This is a problematic area that requires that the Texas lawyer be intimately involved in the enforcement and drafting of these provisions with the added advantage of having been in the midst of litigation. Thus, these agreements must be in place for anyone involved in even looking at the code, revising the software, beta testing, or even any involvement in media or advertising.

A further critical element would be to make sure that there is a vetted agreement at the Texas shareholder or membership level between the partners supporting the founders’ work. It is quite possible that any one of these inventions could have the multiplier effect of the new Microsoft. When you add a lot of money to the equation there is often conflict and dissension. This can be avoided by anticipating the rapid growth of the venture and available cash.

A branding strategy is also necessary to properly promote the software without giving too much away. This is not a complex area but does require an understanding of trademark law and also the provisions of the Texas uniform trade secrets act.

Finally, the client must be warned about the risk of rapidly accepting venture capital as it could destroy the control of the new invention.

At the Moster Law Firm’s Turing Technology Group™ we welcome an opportunity to embrace new technology and software. Give us a call and let’s chat!

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