I set up a company and had a software developer create a new software program for the company. I thought that the idea for the software was novel, and before developing the software, I did some research and didn't see that any similar programs existed. I had the software copyrighted and am preparing to start offering it for sale.
Upon further research, I now see that there is a competing software program offered by another company. The programs are very different. My program was developed completely without reference to the other program; I had no idea that it existed when mine was developed and copyrighted, and IP counsel and others I talked to said not to worry.
I'm very risk-averse, and would actually be happy if the other company and I could work together, since each of our programs does things that the other doesn't, and we could have a great product together. (I also know that a bully who's aware of my program could threaten legal action just to drive me out of the marketplace; even though I am confident that I'm fine, legally, I don't want to deal with a groundless lawsuit.)
Good idea to approach the other company before starting to sell my program (such as to propose a joint venture or to offer to work out a way for each of us to stay within a market niche)? Or better to just start selling it and let the other company contact me? Thank you.