I have recently developed a medical software application. One of my previous employers X (from 4 years ago) sells a similar application. (You can see where this is going.)
X is now alleging that I might have stolen the code and created my own version but that is truly not the case: Every line of code has been written from scratch, and is entirely different from that of X.
X is also alleging trade secret violation (without even looking at the software) but everything this software does is based on public domain knowledge. Managing patients, Exams, Bills, etc. are all public knowledge. Specific tests that go in each exam have been made based on material read from books that I can prove.
My software simply provides a different way of managing practice that has not borrowed anything from X's software.
I did sign a confidentiality agreement with X. But my system employs a non-secret process, and every feature in my system is based on knowledge generally available to all.
The agreement also has a non-compete that states I cannot work for a competitor while I am employed with X.
The agreement was signed in year 2001 in Oregon. I am now in Canada and my company is registered in Canada, trying to sell software in United States.
Anyone has experience going through a similar scenario who can help me prepare a good reply?
This is essentially what the letter from X says:
X has recently learned that you are marketing a software product competitive with X’s software product which incorporates concepts, ideas, layouts, and designs from X’s software product. Similarities between your product and X’s product suggest that you have misappropriated confidential information from X, including software source code, as well as failed to return all confidential information to X upon your termination. To the extent you have created products using X's confidential information, those products are owed solely by X. Moreover, you are hereby notified that under your Confidentiality Agreement, you are prohibited from using or disclosing confidential information obtained and retained from X. Failure to comply with this obligation will result in immediate legal action against you and any persons acting in concert with you to seek injunctive relief, compensatory and treble damages, and attorney fees. X hereby reserves all rights, claims, and causes of action.