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John Garrett
04/08/07 09:47
Read: 5246 times

#136813 - 89C2051 unlocked and copied
I have a question regarding the security of an Atmel 89c2051.

My company designed a product that uses this device back in 2006.
Sales have been ordinary, nothing spectacular. In the fall of 2006,
another company started making a knockoff of our product, and they are
selling the product for a great deal less than we are.

My associate (my techie) and I quickly purchased the knockoff and discovered that
it also uses an atmel 89C2051. The circuit has been changed around a little
however the pinout is EXACTLY the same, the components are a little different,
but basically they are doing the same thing.

I just don't know how to prove that they have copied our software, without
reading their 89C2051. WE would immediately carry forth legal action once we are
100% sure that they have copied our software. In fact there are rumors
coming from a reliable source that they are indeed using our software
without one single byte of code changed.

We cannot afford to spend a great deal of money to have the device reverse engineered
because we are a small company. Our sales were average until this other company
came about. I am also not very pleased about spending big money on a lawyer to
fight this. I did briefly speak to an attorney and he advised me
that without adequate proof, there is a possibility that they could win.

We have since changed to another design, using another microcontroller
and were offering free upgrades to the existing customer base, but the other company
(I cannot afford to mention any names here until I have 100% proof)
is selling the knockoff 50% less than we are, so no matter what, we are in trouble
for any future sales.

I have a few questions.

I would like to know how we can read the software in the knockoff
just to be sure that it is ours, and then we can proceed to take legal action.

I know that it will cost a great deal of money for legal action, but it would be
well worth it if I have 100% proof that our software has been stolen.

Secondly if anyone can do this for me, Please send me an email.

I would not need the software, just one particular segment (our copyright string)
embedded within the flash memory.

Please let me know if you are willing to help, or give me any suggestions.
I certainly hope I have not offended anyone here.

Thank you to everyone and Happy Easter!

John Garrett
Montreal, Canada

you can email me at:

List of 56 messages in thread
89C2051 unlocked and copied      John Garrett      04/08/07 09:47      
   You'll prolly find that the have set the security        Jez Smith      04/08/07 10:04      
   CPU Compare        Joe Gold      04/08/07 10:59      
   Unlock at89c2051        Bert Van Den Berg      04/08/07 13:39      
      Proof        Joseph Hebert      04/08/07 14:29      
   Close But Far Away        Michael Karas      04/08/07 14:41      
      Several Steps for the Next Product      Michael Karas      04/08/07 21:43      
         might I suggest...      Mike Stegmaier      04/08/07 21:54      
            anything else would be outright silly.      Erik Malund      04/09/07 06:36      
         please explain      Stanley Lio      04/09/07 14:16      
            try this      Erik Malund      04/09/07 14:51      
   an idea      Mike Stegmaier      04/08/07 21:37      
      I dont know how this is going.....      John D. Maniraj      04/09/07 02:51      
         the cost of copying      Jan Waclawek      04/09/07 12:39      
            It makes little sense ...      Richard Erlacher      04/09/07 13:13      
               Too optimistic ?      Christoph Franck      04/10/07 00:57      
            another way??      Andy Curda      04/09/07 13:45      
            I beg to differ....      Michael Karas      04/09/07 22:11      
               protection *scheme*?      Jan Waclawek      04/09/07 23:05      
               I absolutely agree, Michael      David Smith      04/10/07 10:10      
            COPYING YOUR PROGRAM...      Raghuram Radha      05/04/07 08:48      
               OR      Neil Kurzman      05/04/07 10:29      
      easily fixed with a soldering iron      Erik Malund      04/09/07 06:40      
   Some ideas      Jerson Fernandes      04/08/07 23:48      
   re:copied software      John Garrett      04/09/07 05:20      
      find out if you want to prove if the code is assem      Erik Malund      04/09/07 06:53      
         Excellent point!      Joseph Hebert      04/09/07 07:33      
      legit or not      Neil Kurzman      04/09/07 14:43      
      Re: Re: Copied software        Bert Van Den Berg      04/10/07 01:25      
         A guess      Erik Malund      04/10/07 09:34      
   Are you sure      Oleg Sergeev      04/09/07 07:58      
      Am I a pirate?      Muhammad Fauzan      04/10/07 03:24      
         In the US      Neil Kurzman      04/10/07 18:25      
            I don't understand part      Ralph Sac      04/10/07 22:46      
               The story of Compac Computer.      Neil Kurzman      04/10/07 23:40      
                  an example of legal reverse engineering      Erik Malund      04/11/07 07:09      
                     Would this be an example legal reverse engineering      Ralph Sac      04/11/07 18:09      
                        I can't tell      Erik Malund      04/12/07 05:56      
                           find out what the purpose of a patent is      Richard Erlacher      04/12/07 11:49      
   You still did not answer question      Ralph Sac      04/10/07 09:29      
   Copied software      John Garrett      04/10/07 14:11      
      copying      Bruce Revor      04/10/07 15:44      
      You cant prove anything      Ap Charles      05/05/07 01:19      
   copying products      Kshrip Kumar      04/11/07 00:12      
      Sad      Steve M. Taylor      04/11/07 04:44      
         but true ...      Richard Erlacher      04/11/07 10:03      
         Copying From School Days      Arif Deshmukh      11/11/08 08:49      
            What they can do      Andy Peters      11/11/08 17:03      
   Oops! See next message!      Richard Ries      11/11/08 11:12      
   Style can help      Richard Ries      11/11/08 11:22      
   There IS a way to survive      Richard Erlacher      11/11/08 18:58      
      Support, support, support!      Kai Klaas      11/12/08 05:49      
         You're right, of course, but ...      Richard Erlacher      11/12/08 08:12      
            Nothing more annoying ...      Christoph Franck      11/13/08 06:36      
               Yes, if this is the only "support" he gets from you...      Kai Klaas      11/13/08 07:18      
                  Well, there is support and then there's handholding      Richard Erlacher      11/13/08 09:10      

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