- We are the only research entity that provides SAP software licensing expert witness services.
- We provide the most knowledgeable SAP software license expert witness support.
About Our Research Focus
We are both a research entity that focuses on software and SAP software licensing and is a provider of software licensing expert witness services.
What is an SAP Software License?
To begin, in understanding software licensing, let us review what is the software license.
A software license is a legal instrument (usually by way of contract law, with or without printed material) governing the use or redistribution of software. Under United States copyright law, all software is copyright protected, in both source code and object code forms, unless that software was developed by the United States Government, in which case it cannot be copyrighted.
A typical software license grants the licensee, typically an end-user, permission to use one or more copies of software in ways where such a use would otherwise potentially constitute copyright infringement of the software owner’s exclusive rights under copyright. – Wikipedia
The Categories of Software Licensing Expert Witness Firms
It is crucial to consider the different categories of companies that offer software licensing expert witness services.
Type 1: SAP Software Licensing and Negotiation Firms
These firms focus on negotiating software deals and sometimes do expert witness work.
These companies typically focus not on the technology but on getting the best price for what is agreed upon to be purchased. Their specialty is knowing the counts of the licenses needed by the client and then optimizing them and optimizing their price. In a dispute between a customer and a vendor, they can use software to determine how many licenses are actually being used and compare them to how many licenses were paid for.
Type 2: SAP Software Code Analysis Firms
These companies have resources with a software development background and use this background to perform code analysis, or code review, between a software product, claimed to have copied the code from another software product. These companies are focused on intellectual property and patent infringement cases.
Our objective in explaining these first two types of companies is to describe how we differ.
Our Niche in SAP Software Licensing Analysis
We are a research firm leveraging this research to support software licensing disputes between software buyers and software vendors/partner consulting firms. These disputes are generally related to how the software ended up being used versus how it was expected and promised it would be used by the software vendor and the partner consulting firm.
We analyze the licenses that were sold, review the requirements and needs of the software buyer to determine if the software vendor supported by the partner consulting firm knowingly oversold licenses for used software products and sold software products that the software vendor/partner consulting firm would have known could not be implemented or otherwise would not be used.
About SAP Software Licensing Usage Lawsuits
- One category of software licensing lawsuits is usage lawsuits. These lawsuits stem from deliberate “stuffing” of software bill of materials by SAP sales teams.
- Often the software vendors position themselves between being a salesperson (which is what they are) and being a “trusted advisor.” They will correspond with their customers by saying they “recommend” a certain number of software products and licenses without ever acknowledging that they are incentivized to sell as many products and as many licenses as possible.
- This stuffing of the software bill of material with what ends up being unused licenses is typical, particularly among the most prominent software vendors.
Providing excellent software licensing expert witness support for usage lawsuits means understanding the implementability of the purchased systems and the objectives of the software buying company.