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Computer Programs

Written by Ben Evans on 06 November 2007

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In general computer programs cannot be patented as they are excluded subject matter under S1(2) / Art 53 (a) Patent Act 1977, unless your program makes “technical contributions” to the industry. It is important to take into the account the high cost of a patent application.

Computer software is however protected by copyright, the most common depiction of this is in the form of a software licence which will set out what you will allow and how you will restrict the use of your software. In the UK copyright is an automatic right and as such there is no registration system. Although this makes copyright protection for a work easily available, the main problem is the ability to establish when a work was created should infringement action become necessary.

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