People who own or operate companies in New Jersey that must carefully guard their intellectual property know how difficult this can be at times. In some situations, there may even develop a situation in which other interests may appear to compete with the desire and need to protect intellectual property rights. One example of this can be seen in a multi-year dispute between researchers and a manufacturer of drunk driving breath test devices that continues today.

The company, based in Germany, did at one point provide its source code for a device for review in one particular legal case that was said to have included a protective order from the court. Researchers were tasked with reviewing the code to determine the accuracy or potential inaccuracy of the device. Results of their investigations were to be allowed to be published but with some parameters designed to protect the manufacturer’s business.

Ultimately, the manufacturer pursued legal action after learning that information was shared with numerous drunk driving defense attorneys. That case never went to court as it was settled before a trial date. However, another researcher is continuing work on the device accuracy and it may well be that the manufacturer must again take action to protect its IP.

Companies that rely on proprietary technology for their competitive should consult with an attorney in New Jersey when they are concerned that their confidential information could get into the wrong hands.

Source:, “Researchers say a breathalyzer has flaws, casting doubt on countless convictions,” Zack Whittaker, May 10, 2018