Reverse engineering has the protection of law in the U.S.

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by Weng Tianxiang, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Hi,
    Do you know "reverse engineering has the protection of law"?

    A good paper in
    http://www.fpgajournal.com/articles_2006/20060627_security2.htm
    tell the following story:
    the Supreme Court ruling that "A trade secret law, however, does not
    offer protection against discovery by fair and honest means, such as by
    independent invention, accidental disclosure, or by so-called reverse
    engineering, that is by starting with the known product and working
    backward to divine the process which aided in its development or
    manufacture."

    I don't know it until today after reading a reference by Austin Lesea
    and I would like others to share the information.

    Weng
    Weng Tianxiang, Jun 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. Weng Tianxiang

    Austin Lesea Guest

    Weng,

    Yes, reverse engineering has a long, and honorable history.

    If I see how it is done by another, and then do it for much less cost,
    with more features or more performance, without infringing on any
    existing patents, then I am well within the law.

    Austin


    Weng Tianxiang wrote:

    > Hi,
    > Do you know "reverse engineering has the protection of law"?
    >
    > A good paper in
    > http://www.fpgajournal.com/articles_2006/20060627_security2.htm
    > tell the following story:
    > the Supreme Court ruling that "A trade secret law, however, does not
    > offer protection against discovery by fair and honest means, such as by
    > independent invention, accidental disclosure, or by so-called reverse
    > engineering, that is by starting with the known product and working
    > backward to divine the process which aided in its development or
    > manufacture."
    >
    > I don't know it until today after reading a reference by Austin Lesea
    > and I would like others to share the information.
    >
    > Weng
    >
    Austin Lesea, Jun 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. Weng Tianxiang

    rickman Guest

    Weng Tianxiang wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Do you know "reverse engineering has the protection of law"?
    >
    > A good paper in
    > http://www.fpgajournal.com/articles_2006/20060627_security2.htm
    > tell the following story:
    > the Supreme Court ruling that "A trade secret law, however, does not
    > offer protection against discovery by fair and honest means, such as by
    > independent invention, accidental disclosure, or by so-called reverse
    > engineering, that is by starting with the known product and working
    > backward to divine the process which aided in its development or
    > manufacture."
    >
    > I don't know it until today after reading a reference by Austin Lesea
    > and I would like others to share the information.


    Reverse Engineering is a valid means of circumventing a Trade Secret.
    But it will not get around Copyright or Patent. A Trade Secret
    requires that the holder take all responsibility for keeping it a
    secret. Other than stealing your paperwork, pretty much any way of
    figuring out the Trade Secret is valid, including Reverse Engineering.
    That s why so many documents are labeled "Trade Secret" or
    "Confidential". They are only protected if labeled as such and you
    only give them to persons who have signed an NDA (non-disclosure
    agreement). Then if the docs are leaked out and you can identify who
    leaked, they are liable for damages for your losses.

    The fear of reverse engineering is why chips are sometimes private
    labeled or the chip markings removed or even the module completely
    potted. Of course there are always ways around most of these
    techniques, but it ends up being a game of how much will one party
    spend to protect a secret and how much will another party spend to
    reveal a secret.
    rickman, Jun 29, 2006
    #3
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