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CRALAW 
Articles 

Topic: 

Y2K DISASTER: 
WHAT TO PREPARE 
FOR 

by: 

Y2K Team 
Chan Robles  
Law Firm 

 
Executive Order No. 14 [August 19, 1998]  Establishing the
Presidential Commission on
Year 2000 Compliance
 
FRENCH Translation
GERMAN Translation
ITALIAN Translation
PORTUGUESE Translation
SPANISH Translation
 
 
 
CHAN ROBLES AND ASSOCIATES LAW FIRM - Welcome to the Home of the Philippine On-Line Legal Resources 
 
 
Implications on Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property 
Implication One 
For software owners desiring to engage the services of outside contractors to correct the Y2K defects, the engagement should be fully covered by an agreement more importantly on the aspect of ownership of the resultant products or derivative works and on the consequential intellectual property rights. 
Implication Two
Many software products currently in use or which are still in the market are susceptible of Y2K defects.  If the customer's internal information system utilizes these kinds of software, the vendor who sold it may introduce appropriate corrections. Once the customer agrees to have his systems corrected, a problem may possibly arise from the fact that said vendor will certainly have access to the customer's systems, his vital trade secrets and confidential company information included.  Acquisition of these vital company secrets and confidential and proprietary  information by third parties may prove to be adverse later.  Thus, before proceeding with the engagement with the vendor or outside contractor, it is suggested that the terms of the engagement  be thoroughly reviewed and the limitations identified and clearly spelled out to preserve the sanctity of the information.  A carefully drafted agreement to this effect is most desirable.
Implication Three
Most software vendors expressly impose the condition that the customer or user of the software is proscribed from introducing any modifications thereto.  If you are a customer or user falling within this category, you need not worry.  In our view, you may legally introduce such modifications in the light of the following justifications:
1.  The Y2K situation presents a completely unique problem requiring 
     serious remedial measures.  In view of this, modification may be 
     introduced based on equitable grounds and on the "fair use" doctrine. 
2.  A customer or user has the right to modify software to customize to  
     his specific needs and requirements.   This is allowed under the 
     general law.
For further information, contact us via mail  or e-mail .
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Since 19.07.98