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What copyright protection is available for software?

Business Law - What copyright protection is available for software?
Last Updated: Feb 03, 2012  |  95 Views
Topics: Business

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That depends on what it does and what country you’re in.  In the United States, to qualify for a patent, something has to be new or novel, it has to be useful or produce some result, and it has to have taken some non-obvious, inventive step beyond what is already available.  You can read about the conditions for patentability as laid out in US law in Title 35 of the US Code.  You could also look up this code through the database Lexis-Nexis.


What type of software copyright law applies to has changed with court decisions.  It might be of use to you to read these.  In Lexis-Nexis, enter the name of a case in the ‘Look up a legal case’ blank in the center of the screen.   Some cases that have been especially relevant to the development of copyright law have been Gottschalk v. Benson, Diamond v. Diehr, and Bilski v. Kappos. 


Some of our scholarly databases also offer articles describing the nature and effects of copyright law – I would recommend starting with the business and communications-oriented parts of the EBSCO databases.  For example, try this sample search.  You can alter the keywords to get more material. 


Let me know if I can be of any help in your search.




Matt Dilworth

Answered by Matt DilworthBookmark and Share

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