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Intellectual Property / Copyright Registration

 
 
Martin
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      03-03-2004
Dear Group

Sory for posting this here. Hope it's not too off-topic but thought
that someone minght know about.

Can you give tips about intellectual property / copyright registration
for software? I've written an app and would like to protect it.

I'm not a paperwork person nor legal minded person so any
plain-english enlightment regarding what I must do, what options I've,
costs etc are very appreciated. I had a look around but it's like
webhosting - there are many businesses providing these services but
how do I know any of them is good?

It's a small app with some potential but not worth spending 10.000 on
legal fees. I'm based in the UK and would like to protect it for
Europe/U.S.

Any estimates how much this will cost and how long it will take?

Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom!

Martin
 
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Eric Lawrence [MSFT]
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      03-03-2004
I am NOT a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

Worldwide, things get complicated. In the United States, if you write
"Copyright 2004 Yourname here" your work is copyrighted. (In fact, even if
you don't, it may be, but this is complicated and not worth messing with
since it's so trivial to add this string).

You only need to "register" your copyright with the US Patent and Trademark
Office if you find yourself needing to sue someone for copyright violations.

--
Thanks,

Eric Lawrence
Program Manager
Assistance and Worldwide Services

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.



"Martin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> Dear Group
>
> Sory for posting this here. Hope it's not too off-topic but thought
> that someone minght know about.
>
> Can you give tips about intellectual property / copyright registration
> for software? I've written an app and would like to protect it.
>
> I'm not a paperwork person nor legal minded person so any
> plain-english enlightment regarding what I must do, what options I've,
> costs etc are very appreciated. I had a look around but it's like
> webhosting - there are many businesses providing these services but
> how do I know any of them is good?
>
> It's a small app with some potential but not worth spending 10.000 on
> legal fees. I'm based in the UK and would like to protect it for
> Europe/U.S.
>
> Any estimates how much this will cost and how long it will take?
>
> Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom!
>
> Martin



 
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George
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-03-2004
Martin,

I can give you some info, from the perspective of someone in the USA.

As I understand it, copyrights will not protect your app, only the code in your app. So placing a
copyright in your source, and then registering that with the copyright office, will only protect you
against someone else dropping a chunk of your code into their app -- assuming you ever find out they
did it. If that's all you're trying to do, that should be fine. However...

If your app contains unique and proprietary processes that you invented, the only way to protect
those processes from use by others is to get them patented, assuming they are patentable -- an
expensive undertaking, international patent protection many times more so. The other way is to
protect them from others by keeping them away from prying eyes, as you would do with a Trade Secret,
such as an ASP.NET Web app running on a protected server.

Pertaining to the unique and proprietary processes (assuming your app contains them), once you sell
or even offer to sell your app, a one year clock starts ticking -- meaning you have one year to
start the patent process rolling AND actual get the patent application filed. If you miss that
deadline, even by a day, even by an hour, *your* unique and proprietary processes pass into the
realm of Public Domain, and you lose all legal rights to them.

Others may have some advise for you -- specific to software -- in this Intellectual Property NG.
news:misc.int-property

Others have posted about software, so before you do, search the archives of that NG at Google for
answers to previous posts that may help you, or they may not respond if you ask the same questions
that have been asked a hundred times before. Use the keyword "software," and you will no doubt find
a number of threads pertaining to software protection. You may even see mine.

George



"Martin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> Dear Group
>
> Sory for posting this here. Hope it's not too off-topic but thought
> that someone minght know about.
>
> Can you give tips about intellectual property / copyright registration
> for software? I've written an app and would like to protect it.
>
> I'm not a paperwork person nor legal minded person so any
> plain-english enlightment regarding what I must do, what options I've,
> costs etc are very appreciated. I had a look around but it's like
> webhosting - there are many businesses providing these services but
> how do I know any of them is good?
>
> It's a small app with some potential but not worth spending 10.000 on
> legal fees. I'm based in the UK and would like to protect it for
> Europe/U.S.
>
> Any estimates how much this will cost and how long it will take?
>
> Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom!
>
> Martin







 
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Martin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-03-2004
Thanks for all this information!

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Martin) wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed). com>...
> Dear Group
>

 
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