Army container movement

WASHINGTON: Over the years I’ve heard dozens of defense executives grumble about the government “stealing” their intellectual property but, when push comes to shove, no one has ever wanted to talk about it for fear of ticking off “the customer.” Since the Pentagon is their only customer, their reluctance is understandable.

But a smallish Texas software company, Apptricitiy, says it has received a $50 million settlement from the Army because, in the wonderful language of this press release, field commanders engaged in “over-deployment of unlicensed logistics enterprise software.” The software is a core part of the logistics system lovingly known as the Transportation Coordinators’ Automated Information for Movements System II (TC-AIMS II).

Translation: Field commanders used the software without permission and without paying for it. 

“Field commanders were focused on the mission-critical nature of Apptricity software and the need to protect warfighters and facilitate mission objectives,” Tim Garcia, Apptricity’s chief executive officer said in a statement. With what you can almost see as a wicked smile, he adds that: “Our battle-tested integrated logistics software performed so well that it went viral.” Yes folks, you can almost hear him say, our software is THAT good.

Here’s the nub of the issue, as described in the Apptricity release:

“In its copyright infringement claim, Apptricity sought compensation for approximately 100 server and thousands of device licenses the U.S. Army installed and fielded across its global network. Seeking to maintain and preserve their strong relationship, the parties entered into Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings and cooperatively agreed to settle for $50 million. The figure represents a fraction of the software’s negotiated contract value that provides a material quantity of server and device licenses for ongoing and future Department of Defense usage.”

And there you have it. Apptricity, clearly eager to preserve its friendly relationship with the Army and to ensure future revenue, didn’t force the issue in a disputatious court case. Instead, it settled.

If readers know details of other cases where the military has “over deployed” their intellectual deployment, please click our Tips button in the upper right of our page and send us the details

Comments

  • Ralph McCoyy

    Apptricity duped the government into believing they were getting a solution to their deployment problems. Instead, the government got a poorly written piece of trapware that held the rest of functionality of the system hostage. The tens of thousands of illegal copes were put on laptops (which were never actually deployed). The government made a mistake in hiring Apptricity and not removing the software before it was deployed. It costs the tax payers $50M. It is a shame Apptricity is being presented positively in this story.

    • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

      Do you think there is a lot of Bizzes in America that you could say are positive. I’ve dealt with Five I think. Maybe 1 of those could have been honest. The honest 1 they had some guy who moved around on a creeper ( mechanics lie on with wheels) who was paralized waste down and they paid half of his minimum wage with the gov paying the other half. He worked on the company truck a few times. Also this company minimum wage jumped a nickel or quarter, I can’t remember ( late 70′s) but he raise the quota up for the ladies working there by 20 percent. After a week they was all there. So for a quarter on the hour at the most he got 20 percent more profits. I know, that is the Wall Street version of the American Dream.

    • Colin Clark

      Very interesting presentation. Sadly, if the government was “duped” that was the fault of those writing the contract and the company then deserves whatever it can then extract to the extent of legal redress. This is the bit that really interests me: “The tens of thousands of illegal copes were put on laptops (which were never actually deployed).” Are you saying the government paid up even though these systems were never actually used? If you’ve got any documents we’d love to see them. I think it’s legally irrelevant, but it’s certainly morally and politically interesting. Hit our Tip button to send me an email if you want. No fingerprints!

  • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

    Why didn’t they just get on the net and swipe it from China? I hope it is better than IBM’s of old or that the company they are dealing with doesn’t have a truck with their products loaded up and locked when it’s time for Inventory.

  • Don Bacon

    Army BorrowedPirated Logistics Software; Pays $50M To Apptricity