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Copyright in software

Written by Michael Coyle on 14 July 2013

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Patents for software in the UK

The UK's approach to patent protection can now be found in two Court of Appeal judgments Aerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd and Macrossan - this decision was combined. The second is Symbian Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents [2008] EWCA Civ 1066. We also have the "five signposts" set out in Re AT&T Knowledge Ventures [2009] EWHC 343 (Pat) which was subject to one caveat approved in the Court of Appeal in HTC Europe Co Ltd v Apple Inc [2013] EWCA Civ 451.

So software can be protected by a patent if on assessment the following can be asked:-

• Properly construe the claim. • Identify the actual contribution. • Ask whether the contribution falls solely within excluded subject matter. • Check whether the actual or alleged contribution is actually technical in nature.

 

I have many clients who ( although we have advised they have no little or no chance of obtaining a patent) still proceed, they want to be first on the market and a patent pending number often does the trick!

 

Copyrights in Software

Protected as a literary work. The right is an automatic right and there is no registered system involved - you may wish to register in the US Copyright office however - its cheap and effective especially if your work is ever infringed.

 

Copyright is a powerful right and one which ought to be respected even though there is no registration system involved.

 

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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