The Think3 Mess

The Think3-Versata shit has started to hit the fan. In my post titled “Think3 Goes Bankrupt” I mentioned how Versata cloned the Think3 web site to a versata.com sub-domain (http://think3.versata.com) and notified all Think3 customers of the change. Thereafter the court appointed trustee of Think3 basically declared that Versata had committed a criminal offense by stating the following on the Think3 web site.

“EMBEZZLEMENT OF GOODS OF THE BANKRUPTCY (INCLUDING COPYING THIS WEBSITE OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF THINK3) CONSTITUTES A CRIMINAL OFFENCE.”

A day later Versata pulled down their Think3 sub-domain. In my last post titled “Who Own’s Think’3 Intellectual Property?” I wrote:

However, with Think3 going into bankruptcy and all its assets, including its web site, now being managed by a court appointed trustee, the burning question in my mind is exactly who owns the intellectual property of all the software of Think3? Does the intellectual property still reside with Think3 and hence is now being managed by the trustee? If yes what is the trustee going to do with it? Or did the company that bought Think3 sell the intellectual property to another company and leave Think3 to die?

Today Versata’s Think3 sub-domain is up again but with another story. As of this writing http://think3.versata.com looks like this:

Click image for larger view

The one sentence that caught my attention was:

As many of you know, Versata FZ-LLC (Versata) is the exclusive licensee of intellectual property rights in the software that customers have licensed from the think3 family of businesses and other trusted resellers.

Note that Versata is the exclusive “licensee” and not the “owner” of the intellectual property. So this means that the company that bought Think3 (and I still don’t know who that is) has licensed (not sold) the intellectual property of Think3 to Versata. Or rather, more specifically to Versata FZ-LCC. According to this page Versata FZ-LCC is based in Dubai, whereas the corporate office of Versata, Inc. is in Austin, TX. I don’t want to even get into that for fear of complicating things even further.

But things get more confusing. The page goes on to say:

all customers previously serviced by think3 Italy who are otherwise unable to obtain support from think3 Italy are invited to receive support from Versata for as long as necessary, up to the full remaining term of their paid maintenance period. This support will be provided at no additional cost to the customer. We [Versata] will not accept payment from you for this service. You must continue to make payment to think3 Italy if any amounts remain due under your contract with think3 Italy. We know that this is a confusing set of circumstances.

Hell, yeah! Confusing is an understatement. So if I understand this correctly, some unknown company bought Think3, then licensed its intellectual property to Versata which now provides support to Think3 customers and payment for which goes to a bankrupt company back in Italy under the care of a court appointed trustee. Fan-freaking-tastic!

To explain this “confusion” Versata’s CEO Scott Brighton is holding a webinar on 3rd May titled “Think3′s New Vision”. If you are a Think3 customer I highly recommend that you attend it. Click here to register.

  • good_people_had_to_leave

    !!WOW!! – I do hope that the appointed trustee will participate to the same webinar so that we will (finally) understand.
    About support, I think that there are many long term VARs that can provide high level support as well.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    By Versata’s own admission, the legal owner of the Think3 (whoever that is) has exclusively licensed Think3′s IP to them. Looks like they forgot to license the web site as well. That’s why Versata had to take down its Think2 sub-domain.

    I find all this a bit odd because when a software company is acquired by another company, usually all of the IP is acquired. This includes the company’s trademarks, patents, domain names, web sites, etc. Unless it is not an acquisition but just a sale of specific assets (physical and virtual).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sachin-Nalawade/100000519521417 Sachin Nalawade

    Think3 is good package, hope Scott Brighton plans something better for the future.

  • Think3india1

    Think3 was a good package and Scott wants the software to remain the docks and memories of the customer forever…

  • JhonJhon

    The interesting thing is that,if you go on this link (http://think3.createsend5.com/t/viewemail/r/261fec4dc904413f/8442c4fd95b0c6636a4d01e12db8921d) and download the 2011.1 release notes you will discover are the same sent to by Q & A in May 2010 to all beta-test!




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