Appraise Liabilities and Legal Consequences of Negligence Regarding Software Patents-Research Sample



Assignment Requirement


Limit your essay to no more than TWO double-spaced pages for the entire assignment. READ THIS AS: NO MORE THAN 3 Pages, including the reference list. well-written, well-thought-out ideas that demonstrate a thorough analysis of the concepts

This assignment requires research. You must cite the research you do every time you use the words or ideas of others and include a bibliography of your references at the end of your paper. If you quote directly from a source, be sure to use quotation marks. List your sources as described in the Computer Science Research Guide (click on the “Citations and Style Guides” tab and choose APA) at: and illustrated in the writing example that you will find in the “Course Resources” section of this course. You may also google APA and find several other sources, including a tool that helps you with your citations. You must have both citations (in the text) and a reference list (at the end).

You require to do some more research into this assignments than just reading the two textbooks. An excellent source for technical research is the ACM digital library at You will be able to get access to the articles themselves as well as conference proceedings from any computer with Internet access by using the Hornet Connect system. After getting into the system select library resources, then ACM digital library, which will give you access to all ACM resources. You may search online or in the library.

One of our course outcomes is to “appraise liabilities and legal consequences of negligence regarding software patents and copyright issues by software engineers.” For this assignment, I want you to explore the issues of negligence in the software engineering life cycle and explore the liabilities we have as software engineers. Consider the following questions when formulating your essay, but you do not have to “answer” each question. Instead use the questions as guidelines to help you think about the problem.

Should software companies be liable for software failures?

What is the definition of negligence with respect to software development?

What ethical responsibilities do software engineers have to users?

What can be done to mitigate the risk of negligence liability?

Try to find one example of negligence (not Therac) to explore in this context.






Table of contents

Liabilities of software companies

Definition of negligence with respect to software development

Ethical responsibilities of software engineers 

Mitigation strategies related to the risk of negligence liability 


Liabilities of software companies

Software companies are liable for software failures because software developers of the organization owe a “duty of care” to their consumers. As mentioned by Davis (2017), lack of proper establishment of duty of care could not prevent a consumer from bringing negligence claim against the software developer of the company. As per section 101 of copyright Act 1976, one of the important duties of care for a software developer is to maintain code of ethics and follow rules and regulations of software copyright law during software development (Copyright Law of the United States, 2019). Software developer needs to ensure safety for their consumers during the development process of critical COTS software as well as software-controlled systems. Under section 102 of the Copyright Act, a company needs to take responsibilities of software failures because most of commercial software contains serious defects as well as flaws and some of them can be vulnerable and exploitable due to failures in software manufacturing. At the same time it is not necessary that if software contains a defect software developer should not be fully responsible of negligence. It is a moral liability of the company to take responsibilities of software failures happens due to the negligence of software developer of their company.

Definition of negligence with respect to software development

Negligence during development of software refers to the damage or loss resulting from a defect in the manufacturing of software because of negligence of software developer which became the reason of suffering for the customers. Negligence liability of software developer attaches when a loss or injury occurs due to failure of software. Much kind of manufacturing or other issues like software bugs can arise while developing software. Software developer needs to follow safety rules regarding software copyright law of USA while developing software (Copyright Law of the United States, 2019). According to the negligence law all software development companies should not release their software products which can develop an unreasonable risk of property damage or personal injury to the customers. If such things happen customers can file complaint of negligence against the company as well as software developer of the country.

Ethical responsibilities of software engineers

Software engineers need maintain some ethical responsibilities such as they should accept responsibilities for their work completely. They need to create transparency regarding their products and they need to prioritized work for a product based on their value. Under section 103 of Copyright Act, 1976, another important ethical responsibility is they need to protect product quality as well as follow safety rules and regulations. As mentioned by Tsui, Karam & Bernal (2016), protection of security and privacy is another responsibility of the software developer. Software engineers need to maintain frequent communication with their team as well as shareholders in order to clarify problems and solutions regarding software development (Risk mitigation strategies for software development projects: Professional perspectives, 2019).

In Whelan Associates Inc. v. Jaslow Dental Laboratory, Inc., et al U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit August 4, 1986797 F.2d 1222, 230 USPQ 481, Jaslow Lab filed a complaint against Whelan Associates in the court of common pleas of Montgomery country in Pennsylvania because of misappropriate use of trade secrets. At the same time Whelan Associates responded as well by filling instant complaint denying all charges. After final verdict given by the court Whelan associates sought relief and compensation because of being non guilty according to the judgment.

Mitigation strategies related to the risk of negligence liability

Software engineers need to identify the importance of risk and in order to mitigate those risks they need to make proper and effective strategies to control those risks. They need to incorporate quantitative techniques based on statistical approaches in order to evaluate all the risks. As opined by Thekkilakattil & Dodig-Crnkovic (2015), software developer needs to focus on prevention of hacking and interference in order to maintain privacy and security of their software products. Software developers need to focus on development of software carefully in order to prevent manufacturing defects and bugs.


Copyright Law of the United States, (2019) Retrieved on 17th March, 2019. Retrieved from :

WHELAN ASSOCIATES, INC.v.JASLOW DENTAL LABORATORY, INC, (2019). Retrieved on 17th March, 2019. Retrieved from:

Davis, M. (2017). Engineering ethics. Routledge :UK

Thekkilakattil, A., & Dodig-Crnkovic, G. (2015). Ethics aspects of embedded and cyber-physical systems. In 2015 IEEE 39th Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference (Vol. 2, pp. 39-44). IEEE.Retrieved on 17th March, 2019. Retrieved from:

Tsui, F., Karam, O., & Bernal, B. (2016). Essentials of software engineering. Jones & Bartlett Learning : US

Risk mitigation strategies for software development projects: Professional perspectives, (2019). on 17th March, 2019. Retrieved from:

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