• Protects works (dramatic, musical, artistic etc)
  • Software copyright; 1988 Copyright, Patents and Designs Act states literary work includes a computer program (or design for).
  • EU Directive 91/250 states computer programs must be protected as literary work under copyright.
  • Owners rights:
    • Copy the work
    • Issue copies to public
    • Perform, broadcast etc to public, adapt
    • Last 70 years from death of author
    • 95 years in some cases in USA
    • 50 years in Canada
  • Copyriht and rights in Database Regulations 1997
    • If the database is the author’s own original intellectual creation it is treated as a literary work and subject to copyright
    • If there has been substantial inveestment in obtaining or verifying the contents of a database then it’s protected by database right (15 years)
  • Owned:
    • by author of work unless author is employee and work created in course of employment
    • Independent contractor is not an employee so still owns copyright
    • Copyriht can only be transferred in writing
    • Does not need to be registered
  • Infringement:
    • Anyone who who infringes rihts of owner has commited primary infringement of copyriht. Civil matter.
    • Secondary infringement when infringement is performed knowingly and in course of business. Can be criminal.
  • In the UK full copyright protection comes into being immedately whenwork is recorded.
  • In the USA copyright is limited unless registered with US Copyright Office.
  • Breached by copyrng the whole or substantial part of the work. Non-literal copying is using the same design to produce a similar system.
    • Licensing:
      • Allows someone to use a work for some or all purposes
      • Can be exclusive or non-exclusive. May be for a fixed period or In Perpetuity
      • Types:
        • Retail software
        • Professional packages (one year licence, renewable, run software on server with x amount of users)
        • Marketing agreements (exclusive license to sell sub-licenses in a given area)
        • Open source, allows source to be used modified or shared. Not necessarily free. Free softrware can be used without payment by the source is not necessarily available and modifying it may not be permitted.
      • Assignment:
        • Copyright owner transfers some or all of the rights of ownership to someone else (assignee)
        • Copyright may be assigned for limited period or forever.
        • Must be in writing and signed by copyright owner
      • What you can do:
        • Fair dealing (private study or research, criticism or review)
        • Make backup copies
        • Selling on
        • Decompilation for interoperability
        • Error correction
      • Enforcement:
        • Search and seizure
        • Injunctions (court-ordered restraints against people)
        • Damages
        • Claim for profits
        • Powerful owners often prevent legal publication of copies by threatening action that the publisher cannot afford to defend against
      • Cases:
        • Oroyan and Perreira
          • Selling modified XBoxes with pirated games and videos
          • Sentenced to 4 months in prison, four months of home confinement and three years of supervised release on charge of criminal copyright infringement
        • CA v. Rocket Software
          • Complaint filed on 1st August 2007 in USA
          • CA claimed 200 million for infringement of copyright in its tools for IBM DB2 users
          • Alleged prorammers working for CA were recruited by rockets
          • Settled out of court with Rocket agreeing to license the copyright from CA. Did not admit fault.
        • Navitaire Inc vs Easyjet and Bulletproof Technologies
          • Easyjet dissatisfied with OpenRest ticketless seat booking system
          • Commissioned Bulletproof to produce new system with same functionality
          • Navitair sued easyJet and bulletproof for breach of copyright
            • User keyboard commands
            • Screen layouts and icons
            • Business logic
            • Database structure
            • Copying of the OpenRest database
        • SAS Institute vs World Programming Lts, 23 July 2010
          • SAS world leader in data analysis and statistical processing software through SAS
          • WPL developed system with same functionality and interfaces and sold in competition
          • “David vs Goliath” case
          • Alleged:
            • Copied manuals
            • Used Learning Edition in contraventio of terms of licenses
            • WPL had infringed the copyright in SAS manuals in creating its own documentation
          • Mostly dismissed. However judge referred several issies to EU Court of Justice for clarification.
            • Does copyright in programs protect programming languages from being copied?
            • Does copyright in programs protect interfaces from being copied without decompilation?
            • Does copyright in programs protect functions of the programs being copied
        • Cantor Fitzgerald International vs Tradition UK Ltd and others
          • Staff from claimant recruited by defendant to write a similar system
          • Taken source code
          • Alleged copyright infringement and breach of confidence
        • US Govt vs Richard O’Dwyer
          • Extradition sought for trial in USA for criminal copyright infringement
          • Dwyer owned and operated tvshack.net
          • Funded by adverts from US to about £230k
          • Extradition granted, O’Dwyer appealed

Patents

  • Patents (Patents Act 1977)
    • Give an inventor the exclusive rtight to use or exploit his invention for up to 20 years.
    • Patentable:
      • New
      • Inventive step
      • Capable of industry application
      • Not be specifically excluded
        • Scientific theories,
        • Maths methods
        • Literary etc works
        • Schemes, rules, methods
    • All are public and published
    • EU Patent Law:
      • Agreed in in 1973 and put into force 1977
      • Patent act 1977 implemented convention in UK
      • All countries in EU + Iceland, Switzerland and Norway
      • No agreement on single Euro patent
    • International Patent Law
      • Patent cooperation treaty signed in 1970
      • Most countries are signatories
      • Administered by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
      • Single applciation to WIPO establishes wordwide priority date
    • Patents only ranted to inventors or asignees
    • Employees treated as inventors unless created in course of normal duties in which case employer is inventor
    • Getting a patent:
      • Essential to establish priority when applying for a patent. Must apply early even if not finished.
      • Desirable to get patents in all major markets
      • File preliminary application with UK Intellectual Property Office
      • Specift you want to follow EU route, but file international apps within one year
      • File international patent app with WIPO
    • Software Patents (EU)
      • EU Patent Convention states software isn’t patentable
      • EU Patent Office has been granting patents to software since late 1980s
      • On few occasions they have come to court they have usually been declared invalid
      • Owners reluctant to enforce for fear they will be declared invalid
      • EU Patent Convention met in 2000 and 2002 failed to settle issue of software patents
      • In 2005 EU Parliament refused to change EPC to permit software patents.
    • Software Patents (USA)
      • Patent office grants freely to software and US courts enforce
      • Particular problems caused by patents on compression, a&v processing and cryptography
      • US Courts have thrown out many attempts to enforce software patents that should not have been granted
  • Confidential Information
    • Information cannot be stolen
    • Obligation of Confidence can prevent information being disclosed
      • Through contract or equity
      • Can be overriden by public interest
      • Used:
        • Prevent sales staff taking sales leads when they leave
        • Between companies that wish to collaborate
        • Prevent employees taking tech secrets
        • Prevent tech info being used by competitors

Trademarks

  • Trade names, costumes etc
  • International agreements to which most countries subscribe
  • Must be registered in each country
  • Only protects goods in the category for which it is registered
  • Trade marks Act 1994 or tort of passing off
    • makes it a criminal offence to use an unauthorised trademark commercially
    • Offence to put someone elses trademark on software you are sellingo
  • Ada and Digital refused in UK