Copyright violation on Intellectual property
I have invented a product in the area of computer graphics and 8 months ago had talks about forming a company to market the product with two of my friends (Mr. X and Mr. Y) (Mr. X runs an IT services company and Mr. Y was forming another IT services company) who promised me, would bring in investment from angel investors, take care of sales and managing of the company as I was planning to go for my doctorate abroad in 6 months time. Person X invited me to attend a business conference where he promised me to introduce me to investors, for which I prepared a business report and a presentation along with Mr. Y through email communication who assisted me in creating images for the presentation which I later found to copies from Google images. I had also communicated with them about the equity which Mr X and Mr Y will own and their roles in the company in one of the emails, to which I have not received any response. But friend X never introduced me to any investor citing irrelevant reasons and hence I decided to voluntarily talk to business people in the conference who at the end of the discussion were interested in making an investment offer. The promises made by my friends turned malignant as during the discussion period they asked me to sign an agreement which said all my future research (patents and publications) should be under their names, which I declined and I have the mail proof of these terms. Based on their vice intentions I decided not to work with them, declined the investment offer and stalled them citing the reason that I would be going for my studies and would be difficult to complete the product. I had taken a personal loan of Rs 85,000 from the friend Mr. X one year ago for personal reasons (I have the receipt voucher mentioning the personal reason and amount) and decided not to break the relation with him till I pay back the amount. I have not signed any agreement with them till now.
Based on the initial response from the consumers for the product and another angel investment offer, I declined PhD offers from reputed universities and decided to form the company (with different name) on my own with another marketing partner.
On receiving the knowledge about this, X and Y stormed into my office, created a scene and spoke very rudely accusing me of cheating them, threatened to file a intellectual property theft case to spoil my career and that I would never be able to go abroad for my doctorate degree. My parents helped me to pay back the Rs 85,000 on the same day using NEFT and I possess the proof of transfer.
Based on the email conversations and messages on the said product they claim to have evidence that they have worked on the product. They also claim to have a voice recording of me agreeing that Mr. X, Mr Y and myself own the product. Mr X is trying to send me a notice but has not been able to do so till now due to my unavailability in the office during both times and have also avoided calls from his office employee.
They also claim to possess the code of the product which they say I had shared with person Mr. Y during the discussion period and to the best of my knowledge I have not shared the code with him, but at times he used to have access to my computer during the discussion phase and I suspect him to have stolen it from my laptop when the product was in a very nascent stage which makes it near to impossible for them to build the complete product from it as very few people in India have expertise in my area of research.
Mr Y has now created a website with the earlier name of the product and posted a video of the product at a very nascent stage. Mr Y has also formed another company and has posted my research work in the company website by exactly copying images and descriptions from my personal website(which I maintain for my personal research purposes and own the copyrights as they are published in journals). Mr. X is spreading wrong stories about me to my investors and other entrepreneurs in the city. I have registered a Pvt. Ltd company, hired interns to work on the next version of the product and have started with the sales of the product. Can anyone suggest me how to solve the issue which can enable me to run my company without any hassles, as for future investments and sales Mr. X and Mr. Y should not create hindrances in my operations.