Serves Them Right Department: Source Code Stolen in India

Oct. 8, 2004

According to Computerworld (August 5, 2004), an insider at a R&D center in Mumbai, India, stole the source code and confidential design documents from Jolly Technologies, San Carlos, Calif.

Jolly is a vendor of labeling and card software for the printing industry. It set up its R&D operation in Mumbai less than three months ago.

Most U.S. companies doing business in India require employees to sign an employment agreement that prohibits them from stealing source code. However, Computerworld reports that the sluggish Indian legal system and the absence of intellectual property laws make it nearly impossible to enforce such agreements.

BEA, a software developer in San Jose, Calif., outsources maintenance and support of its software to India, but it doesn’t let the source code get out of its hands, according to CNET news (May 5, 2004). “We’d never outsource any of our IT architects,” says Rhonda Hocker, chief information officer at BEA. “I would never envision putting them over there or outsourcing that to anyone.”

As a result of the theft, Jolly has halted all development at the R&D center.