I Know Who Owns Think3′s Intellectual PropertyFeatured, Opinions Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
There is a tremendous amount of confusion surrounding Think3. In an earlier post titled “Who Own’s Think3′s Intellectual Property?“, I wrote:
“…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?“
At http://versata.think3.com Versata claims that it 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“. Which led me to believe that some other entity actually owns the intellectual property and has merely licensed it to Versata.
Apparently not. Scott Brighton, the CEO of Versata, sent me this clarification:
“Versata FZ-LLC (Versata) did buy the IP from think3. The term license is used as a matter of contractual convenience (it’s a perpetual, irrevocable license, which is the same as ownership).“
Regarding the loss of the Think3 web site, Scott wrote:
“We’ve had a few unanticipated issues that we’re working to fix, such as the loss of the website. However, we are working on a new, improved site that we expect to launch early next week. We will also be issuing daily update communications to our customer base on our progress, and I will also keep you informed.”
So it appears that Versata forgot to add the Think3 web site to their shopping cart when they went shopping for intellectual property. If that is the case then it sounds like a pretty bad goof up. I am hoping they made sure they bought the necessary trademarks and trade names as well, and not just source code.
Regarding Think3 going into bankruptcy, Scott explained:
“The entity which is now in receivership is the local Italian distribution company for Versata’s think3 product portfolio. Customers in Italy, however, will not be impacted. They will be serviced directly by Versata (at no additional cost) or, if they prefer, through one of our certified VARs in Italy.“
There has been concern about the pace and quality of development of the Think3 family of products now that a significant portion of the Think3 development staff has been laid off. This video shows a deserted Think3 office in India. Scott updated me on the progress made by Versata on that front.
Versata is now focused on accelerating the pace of product development. A few statistics to the effect:
- We’ve had 3 product releases since the acquisition, and the content of each release has accelerated. We expect this pace to continue as we strive to continue to ship monthly.
- We’ve made vast improvements to support. At the time of acquisition, roughly 28% of our support interactions with customers were rated “Excellent”. As of last week, that number was at 75%.
- We are hard at work on the Enterprise version of all think3 products. This will form the basis of the revitalization of the product portfolio.
Scott stressed the need to clear the confusion in the minds of Think3 customers. He said:
“…as you mention, we hope to use the May 3 webinar to provide as much information as we can. This is clearly a confusing period for think3 customers, but we see it as the beginning of the rebirth. We are committed to making the core products – which we have high regard for – market leaders again. We thank all our customers for their patience as we move from restructuring to revitalization.”
Now that the question regarding the ownership of the intellectual property of Think3 has been answered, I am now trying to find the answer to another question – “Who Bought Think3?“