That one software does the same as another is not plagiarizing, it is inspiring
Posted on 18/12/2020
Before collecting the car keys, the client usually waits for an approximate time that he knows from the moment he leaves with the purchase contract already signed from the dealer. Precision in vehicle delivery times is possible thanks to the fact that automotive companies usually have an internal platform that connects their network of logistics centers with the vehicle's points of sale. And Kia is no exception. However, the Spanish subsidiary of the South Korean manufacturer, Kia Ibérica, was accused of plagiarism by Imaweb, a computer development and support company that, between 2010 and 2014, was the provider of the company's car sales platform Asian at home. Thus, Kia, through a license agreement, could use the platform designed by the IT company to manage its network of dealers. The agreement, under which Imaweb maintained and updated the car company's tool, was for three years. Before the end of the contractual relationship, in February 2013, Sade, another technology company, offered Kia to develop a specific tool for its brand, which was accepted by the Japanese construction company. Thus, between 2013 and 2014, the subsidiary of the car manufacturer in Spain had two agreements with two different entities. This situation did not convince Imaweb that, after ending its relationship with Kia, it filed a lawsuit in November 2014 for plagiarism of its system. “Kia commissioned a third party to develop a computer program to meet its needs, but without accessing the source code or decompiling the object code. Neither the copying of the graphical interface nor the functionalities would imply plagiarism or interference in the intellectual property rights of the computer program since there was no copy of the codes, ”says Salvador Silvestre, ECIJA partner on the ruling of the Provincial Court of Madrid . Thus, the judges dismissed Imaweb's petition, which requested the destruction of the dealer management tool that Kia has been using since 2014 and 120,000 euros in compensation.