Who Owns Think3's Intellectual Property?

After running Think3 into the ground, its former owners seemed to have set the stage for a train wreck by selling the company to Versata… or whoever it is that they sold it to (see “Who Bought Think3?“). The one thing that matters most in a software company is its intellectual property. There are some theories floating around regarding what happened to the intellectual property of Think3 after the company was sold. But without proof there is no point going into them.

Anyways, in all the confusion, somehow Think3 customers have started getting emails and calls from Versata asking them to pay up for their new support program. Think3 customers are also complaining on my blog that nothing has been done to the software, apart from shipping an old beta as a new release.

However, with Think3 going into bankruptcy and all its assets, including its web site, now being managed by a court appointed trustee, the burning question in my mind is exactly who owns the intellectual property of all the software of Think3? Does the intellectual property still reside with Think3 and hence is now being managed by the trustee? If yes what is the trustee going to do with it? Or did the company that bought Think3 sell the intellectual property to another company and leave Think3 to die? If it did then does Italian or US law allow a company to be gutted in this way? I am no legal eagle. But I have reason to believe that this Think3 obituary is not the end of the story.

This story has now moved away from Think3 employees being denied salary for months and then being laid off. This is now about the Think3 customer base and what is going to become of them. I am hoping that this story has a happy ending. But I fear that it may not.

Update (26-Apr-2011)

The question has been answered. See “I Know Who Owns Think3′s Intellectual Property“.