Interview with Software Developer and Expert Witness David Horowitz
David Horowitz is the lead software developer and co-founder with his wife Bonnie Laszlo Horowitz of Soundside, Inc., located in New York City. David was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, began his career at Microsoft.
Soundside’s clients are leaders in their industries, including pharmaceutical, scientific, manufacturing, technical, and legal. David is an expert witness and consultant on the subject of software development. He has a talent for making difficult subjects easy to understand.
Here is our interview with Software Developer David Horowitz:
What is the name of your business? Where are you located? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
Our company is called Soundside Inc. Its inception was on the beautiful north shore of Long Island on the Long Island Sound, hence the name. Now we’re located right in the heart of New York City.
Soundside performs custom software development and consulting services for a wide range of clients. Also, I perform expert witness services for lawsuits relating to software and technology.
What is your background and how long have you been involved with this industry?
I started playing with computers in the late 1970’s when home computers first became popular. I got my degree from University of Pennsylvania in computer science and computer engineering. So I’ve been at it for quite a while now.
Over the years, I’ve performed services for clients in the legal, healthcare / medical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, IT, and entertainment industries, among others.
I worked at Microsoft while still in college, consulted for Siemens Healthcare for 10 years and provided services to Adobe, OpenText (Canada’s largest IT firm) and Avid Technologies (makers of the industry leading professional video editing product Media Composer).
For several years, I have also been performing expert witness services for attorneys and their clients in their cases regarding software. These cases are typically either intellectual property litigation or contract disputes.
Intellectual property disputes typically involve charges of patent or copyright infringement or trade secret misappropriation. Contract disputes have been about alleged breaches of contract by software developers or non-payment by their clients.
Earlier this year, I had the honor of testifying before Hon. Jed S. Rakoff in Federal Court (SDNY), helping my client win their multi-year, multi-continent dispute over ownership of their software. I have also provided depositions and written reports in New York, Charlotte, and other jurisdictions around the country.
I enjoy providing critical services to my law firm clients and their clients which form significant portions of their case strategy.
How did your idea come about? How did you organize your team?
Getting into the software industry was a no-brainer for me initially, as I so enjoyed programming and learning the ins and outs of specific hardware platforms.
I enjoyed wiring up custom machines in college, even building an early text-to-speech processor. When my wife Bonnie and I married in 1998, we incorporated Soundside Inc. to take the services we were providing clients to the next level.
Reaching the stage in my career that I have combined with my family background in the legal industry provided a natural foundation for me to become an expert witness.
What were some of your concerns as a start up?
Being a startup affords us the opportunity to provide the kinds of services we want to provide to clients and that we’re good at. Natural concerns for a service-oriented startup are often centered around client acquisition. How do we get new clients and will we have enough? Building a strong reputation and networking with existing clients has been helpful to keep us busy all these years.
As a startup entrepreneur what type of lessons could you give to inventors and people with new ideas as to how to bring their ideas to fruition?
Recognizing our own unique talents – what we have to offer the world – is the key to bringing our own ideas out into manifestation. Let those ideas become reality!
Are you familiar with any of the laws regarding patent, trademark law or licensing and how they affect your business?
As an expert witness I have become quite familiar with intellectual property issues, including copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets. I think generally most people are not aware of what the distinctions are between these various types of intellectual property.
Generally, copyrights protect works of art, including books, movies and software; trademarks protect the names of products or services; patents protect methodologies such as systems or algorithms – ways of doing things; and trade secrets are information that is commercially vital to your business and not generally known to the public. There are complex laws, usually at the federal level, about each of these aspects of intellectual property.
Some attorneys specialize in one or more of these intellectual property categories and when seeking out an attorney, I think it’s important to find one who’s experienced with the categories of intellectual property which are most important to you, although a new venture may need to protect multiple types of intellectual property.
As an expert witness, I provide opinions based on my technical expertise about intellectual property matters.
I must have a working knowledge of the law in each of these areas, yet I leave legal interpretation to the attorneys, judges and juries; my job is to provide the technical expertise to aid these parties in making legal determinations in what are often quite complex technical situations.
I’m happy to discuss matters with attorneys and/or their clients for expert witness needs, and our company is also available to provide some of the best software development and consulting services available.
I can be reached at [email protected]. To find out more about my expert witness services, please visit www.softwareexpertwitness.nyc. At Soundside’s web site you’ll be able to register for Soundside’s newsletter and browse Soundside’s tools and utilities for Microsoft Office. To learn more about my technical background, please visit www.soundsidesoftware.com.