Fight Over Arizona Courts Efiling System

PHOENIX (CN) – Arizona’s Administrative Office of the Courts sued Intresys, claiming the California tech company is wrongly asserting copyright ownership of an open-source court-filing system.
     The Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts sued Integrated Information Systems dba Intresys, of San Mateo, in Federal Court.
     The 7-page complaint is replete with technical jargon.
     “AOC provides, through contracts with Intresys and third parties, a Worldwide Web portal for filing and managing case related documents in certain Arizona courts,” the lawsuit begins. “AOC has developed and licensed from others database and application software, including joint development of Intresys’ TurboCourt electronic filing software (‘TurboCourt’). AOC licenses and operates IBM MQ software for the exchange of electronic messages between integrated applications, including TurboCourt and third party Case Management and Document Management Systems.
     “Intresys licensed the TurboCourt software to AOC and is engaged with AOC in ongoing development and enhancement of this software. Intresys claims ownership of the TurboCourt software pursuant to a US Copyright Registration.”
     However, Arizona claims: “AOC entered into a January 29, 2009 Master Agreement and subsequent extensions with Intresys governing the work on TurboCourt. The contract documents required Intresys to use open source formats from standard setting bodies, OASIS (Organization for the Development of Structured Information Standards) and NIEM (National Information Exchange Model), to develop an Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema that provides communications capability between the TurboCourt software and the third party case management and document management systems in the IBM MQ environment. XML is an open standard copyrighted by the World Wide Web consortium and made available without fee or royalty. …
     “Intresys derived the Exchange Schema from open source software published by OASIS and NIEM and contributed these materials to OASIS. On or before May 22, 2012, Serguei Mysko, as a member of the OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing
     Technical Committee, submitted a Statement of Use to OASIS. The Statement of Use affirmed Intresys used the ECF 4.01 specification and schema since November 2010 and noted the exchange schema was created based on the OASIS LegalXML Web Service Interaction Profile (‘SIP’) Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) file. Through Serguei Mysko, its designated representative, Intresys continued its participation on the OASIS LegalXML Electronic Court Filing Technical Committee, thereby consenting to royalty-free use of the materials submitted to OASIS. Serguei Mysko referenced the use of an XML schema derived from the existing OASIS standard in the MQ SIP to replace the WSDL in a submission to OASIS on November 26, 2012.
     “Intresys now claims its copyright ownership extends to open source Service Definitions and Exchange Schema from which it derived the schema it claims.
     “The Service Definitions and Exchange Schema are data structures dictated by external factors or already found in the public domain.
     “The Service Definitions and Exchange Schema are a method of operation and not eligible for copyright protection.” (Citation to exhibit omitted.)
     Nonetheless, Arizona says: By letter to OASIS dated July 22, 2013, counsel for Intresys claimed the Service Definitions posted on the OASIS website are an ‘unauthorized derivative work’ and demanded their removal from the OASIS website. OASIS has not removed the Service Definitions.
     “By letters dated August 9, 2013, Intresys threatened legal action against the AOC and any vendor that seeks to deliver a new efiling system for the Arizona Judicial
     Department as specified in RFP13-03, which references the Service Definitions.
     “By letter dated August 14, Intresys reiterated its ownership claim and threatened that vendors responding to the RFP proceed ‘at their own risk.’
     “AOC has repeatedly explained its right to use the materials Intresys claims and the open source nature of these materials. Intresys has persisted in asserting rights that do not exist and has impeded the ability of AOC to contract with other vendors and further develop the AOC electronic filing system described in the RFP.” (Citations to exhibits omitted.)
     Arizona claims that “Intresys has no protectable interest in the Service Definitions or Exchange Schema referenced on the OASIS website and in the RFP. Any significant delay caused by Intresys’ baseless claims may make it impossible to complete the necessary work prior to the May 31, 2015 expiration of the contract with Intresys. Due to the importance of efiling to court operations, delay caused by Intresys’ baseless claims may compel the contract with Intresys to be further extended at significant additional expense to the court.”
     The AOC seeks declaratory judgment and an injunction.
     It is represented by Ray K. Harris with Fennemore Craig.

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