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BOCA RATON, FL-Locally-based WinVista Corp. believes it has created a security program that could ease the fears of commercial real estate brokers, investors, developers and sellers that their personal e-mails can be copied and sent to rivals around the globe. The firm’s Protection Interface system allows recipients to respond to messages but blocks them from printing, cutting, pasting and forwarding the transmission to others.

WinVista CEO Wayne Leonard predicts the security concept will be accepted readily by major corporations dealing daily in Internet business transactions. He plans to add 14 software engineers over the next six months to his staff of 30 in offices in Boca Raton, FL Dallas, Washington, San Francisco and London. Boca Raton is 60 miles north of Downtown Miami.

California-based New Vista Capital Fund sees potential in the five-year-old firm, which only began to grow in the last 18 months. New Vista invested $600,000 in the firm. An unidentified London venture capitalist gave the company $2.5 million last year. WinVista only entered the security software arena in February when it bought HM Software in Newcastle, England for an undisclosed price.

The British firm designs and sells software that frustrates thieves who plan to sell the electronic contents of laptops after stealing the computer. The software locks the contents. WinVista’s e-mail security program tweaked and polished the British concept.

Now the company is working on products to protect digital content. WinVista’s Leonard cites the current controversy over Napster Inc.’s allowing individuals to download music free from the Internet. Software the company is currently designing would have the ability to control the music’s distribution, Leonard says.

British programmer Russell Humphries started WinVista in Great Britain in 1995. The company was moved to Boca Raton in 1997 when it had a staff of five. Humphries remains with the company. Michael Fields, a former executive with California-based Oracle Corp and Veritas Software, is WinVista’s chairman.

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