Intellectual property protection of computer software [Pictures]



Last updated : Aug 21, 2022
Written by : Tu Putzier
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Intellectual property protection of computer software

What is the protection provided to computer software?

These discussions resulted in the generally accepted principle that computer programs should be protected by copyright, whereas apparatus using computer software or software-related inventions should be protected by patent. Copyright law and patent law provide different types of protection.

How can you protect your computer from intellectual property?

  1. File for Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents.
  2. Sign Confidentiality or Licensing Contracts with Employees and Partners.
  3. Sign IP Assignment Agreement with Developers.
  4. Look Into Source Code Licenses.

How a patent is used to protect software?

A patent, if issued, allows the owner to prohibit others from using the patented invention. For software, the patented invention is often a method of calculating something. The copyright protects the actual code itself, but would not stop someone else from creating their own code that implemented the same method.

How do you protect software development?

  1. File for Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents. Copyrights (©)
  2. Sign Confidentiality Contracts with Partners and Employees.
  3. Sign IP Assignment Agreement with Developers.
  4. Look Into Source Code Licenses.
  5. Create IP Awareness Among Employees.

What kind of intellectual property is software?

What is Intellectual Property for Software? Intellectual property for software is computer code or software protected by law under either a copyright, trademark, trade secret, or software patent.

Is software valuable intellectual property?

Intellectual property concerning software refers to computer code or software protected by law. Protecting your software via intellectual property rights is considered important as software innovation is valuable to individuals, start-ups and businesses.

What are the four types of intellectual property used to protect computer programs?

Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are valuable assets of the company and understanding how they work and how they are created is critical to knowing how to protect them.

What is intellectual property in technology?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

What are the 3 ways of protecting intellectual property?

There are only three ways to protect intellectual property in the United States: through the use patents, trademarks or copyrights. A patent applies to a specific product design; a trademark to a name, phrase or symbol; and a copyright to a written document.

How can software can be protected?

Software is protected by copyright as a literary work. Copyright does not require registration as it automatically takes action from the moment of creation (however, in some countries, like the US, there are some benefits in registering your copyright).

What are the most effective ways to protect software?

  • Keep up-to-date.
  • Antivirus software.
  • Antispyware software.
  • Firewalls.
  • Choose strong passwords.
  • Use stronger authentication.
  • Be careful what you click.
  • Shop safely.

Can you copyright software idea?

A software invention, for example, could be protected under copyrights (how human expression authored computer-readable code), patents (a useful, novel, and non-obvious method, device, or system), or both.

Is software protected by copyright or patent?

Computer software or programs are instructions that are executed by a computer. Software is protected under copyright law and the inventions related to software are protected under patent law.

Is software a property?

While software is intangible, it of itself is not intellectual property, except in the loose sense of being the subject matter of the intellectual property right, copyright.

Would software apps fall under intellectual property?

Even non-tech companies have apps that service clients and potential customers. Software and apps are an important and valuable business asset and piece of intellectual property for businesses and programmers alike.

What are the 7 intellectual property rights?

Rights. Intellectual property rights include patents, copyright, industrial design rights, trademarks, plant variety rights, trade dress, geographical indications, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

Why intellectual property is important in information technology?

Protecting intellectual property often promotes technological advancements because innovators are more likely to share their creations and products, knowing they'll maintain rights to their inventions. This benefits society as a whole, since more innovations lead to increased advancement.

What are examples of intellectual property?

  • Patents.
  • Domain names.
  • Industrial design.
  • Confidential information.
  • Inventions.
  • Moral rights.
  • Database rights.
  • Works of authorship.

Can you trademark a software?

No, you can not trademark software, but you can trademark the name and logo for your software. This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. You can trademark the name, logo, or slogan that you use to sell or promote your software products and services.

What is intellectual property and how is it protected?

Intellectual property is owned and legally protected by a person or company from outside use or implementation without consent. Intellectual property can consist of many types of assets, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights.


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Intellectual property protection of computer software


Comment by Howard Clem

intellectual property for software is computer code or software protected by law under either a copyright trademark trade secret or software patent when you treat your software as intellectual property you have more control over who gets to use it and how it gets to the public otherwise people might use it without permission and you'll lose the chance to get paid when people use your software intellectual property IP is a piece of work that is an exchangeable object IP usually comes from creativity and could be a manuscript a formula a song or software under the law copyrights trademarks trade secrets and patents protect IP the Copyright Act 17 USC calls computer programs literary works a copyright grant to specific rights in terms of your software when you hold the copyright to software code you can make copies of your software code sell or give away the code make a derivative work which is a second software that uses a lot of the original co-hosts the code summary or otherwise display you need a patent to protect the process like the function of software including systems functions and solutions of computer programs utility protects what the software does design protects any decorative part of your software you can protect your software as a trade secret a trade secret is information you or your company has that other people don't have you use this information in business and it gives you a leg up over your competition you have to take reasonable measures to keep the software a secret including keep the software away from the public have employees sign non-disclosure agreements have employees sign non-compete agreements do exit interviews with employees who are leaving to make sure they aren't bringing IP with them as soon as an employee quits or is fired take away all their file and data access investigate any suspicious employee activity keep IP data stored in compartments and only give access to employees who need also keep in mind when you patent a software it has to meet lots of USPTO and illegal criteria that's why not all software qualifies for a patent the most important include your software has to be useful or have a specific application it has to be new it has to have an inventive step that is not obvious to people in the field


Thanks for your comment Howard Clem, have a nice day.
- Tu Putzier, Staff Member


Comment by Val

hi my name is David like strin and today we're going to be talking about the protection of computer software whether through intellectual property contract or employment agreements after spending over 20 years at large law firms in 2017 I started a small law firm with six lawyers to represent companies in the trial of complex business and intellectual property disputes with us today we have Larry Miller and David Horowitz and they're each going to briefly introduce themselves now hi my name is Larry Miller I'm presently senior managing counsel at BNY Mellon a large custodial bank in New York my practice in is a largely transactional practice with software licensing applications service agreements that kind of thing as well I oversee the prosecution of our patent applications and advise litigation counsel in connection with the defense of patent litigation and the most fun that I have is engaging in blockchain development for the bank I'm David Horowitz I'm managing partner of luminary experts we are a software research and litigation service and expert witness agency and I've been a software consultant and vice president of soundside Inc for several decades and have performed a wide array of software consulting services for a wide array of clients in many different industries over the years all right so we're going to start by just doing a little bit of an overview of the manner in which computer software is protected by intellectual property or contract and let's start with a discussion of when one might try to protect computer software with a patent as compared to a copyright where as compared to a trade trade secret but just for a little bit of background Larry can you tell us a little bit about how the legal function interacts with the computer coders at Bank of New York Mellon and and how how many starting with how many there are and exactly what your function is with regard to computer software yes so out of about 50,000 employees we have about 6,000 developers internally developing code for the most part the code they write is used internally by the bank for the benefit of customers there's a small amount that gets licensed to outside but for the most part it's it's it's used in transacting business for customers the the the interaction with the developers takes place at several different altitudes at a very high level there's an impact that takes place at there at the the corporate of the holding company level in terms of setting policy under the the the living will of the bank that is established as required by the Fed and we recently made a determination that we had to be sure that all of the software that was internally produced was either owned by or licensed to the particular operating units that we're using it given that we have a 14-page corporate org chart that was a major undertaking to get organized the other side of the coin down to the more micro level is I'm on a group called the Foss Council that is the the internal governance body that governs the use of open-source software by the internal development and and also oversees the outbound licensing of FOSS developed either corporately or by individual developers that they want to contribute so it happens sort of at both ends okay good and David can you again just for context give us an idea of the types of cases you've been consulting on or acting as an expert witness on again just for context for our audience so they can understand some of the context for your remarks that you'll make later sure so with my technology background I've been able to assess the situation on various cases regarding copyright infringement and patent infringement trade secret misappropriation haven't really done much trademark work because it doesn't really specifically apply to software coding per se so I've been involved in cases I've testified in cases where one company has developed some software and there's been disputes over another company that seems to have copied the code which would have been framed as their copyright I've had other cases where the obvious patent infringement allegations where it looks like companies implementing somebody else's patent and also I've been involved with trade secret cases where the plaintiff asserts that they have ownership of certain trade secrets that they believe that the defendant is utilizing without their permission and so that's all in the domain of intellectual property but I've also gotten involved in contract dispute cases where one company suing another for either non performance of software development services or one company is suing the other for not paying them for performing the software development services and so often there's a an analysis that I needed to perform to see what was actually contracted what was actually delivered and who paid or who didn't pay and why that happened okay good now Larry sticking sort of with the background issues can you talk a little bit about the process by which the bank or any big company should be thinking about when it decides with particular regard to computer software whether to file for a patent to register a copyright in the code or instead to keep the code as a trade secret and not file for intellectual property protection sure so it really is a matter of keeping as many strings on your bow as you can as late as you can in the game at some point if if dispute resolution is taking place you're going to have to make an election but prior to that election you want to have as much available to you as you possibly can so typically you keep things confidential software but anything confidential unless there's a reason to disclose it and the open source context is the obvious example of deciding you're going to disclose something that you've developed that you could have kept proprietary the other thing is to recognize from a copyright point of view that all of the code that's developed is copyrightable subject matter and copyright attaches from the moment of creation so without registration you don't need to take any steps to have copyright attached and then if an infringement of copyright occurs you have to have a registration as a condition to filing a suit but you can make that election that at a later time and then the trade-off between patents and traits and a trade secret is once a patent application publishes whatever is disclosed in there is now public and clearly doesn't qualify for trade secret status so in a in a relatively small category of cases you'll have a decision to make at an earlier time am I going to keep this as a potential trade secret or am I going to file a provisional patent application on it and start a a prosecution with respect to it the trade secret status of anything software flavored in general these days most people up I shouldn't say most people we tend not to regard very much as something we want to keep as a trade secret in terms of the actual proprietary status and the benefit of keeping it really confidential that that constitutes a shift if you if you were to go back to any you know arbitrary period like the 60s or the 70s trade secret protection was a


Thanks Val your participation is very much appreciated
- Tu Putzier


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