Intellectual Property / Copyright Registration

Discussion in 'ASP .Net' started by Martin, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Martin

    Martin Guest

    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
     
    Martin, Mar 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. 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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    Eric Lawrence [MSFT], Mar 3, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Martin

    George Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    George, Mar 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Martin

    Martin Guest

    Thanks for all this information!

    (Martin) wrote in message news:<>...
    > Dear Group
    >
     
    Martin, Mar 3, 2004
    #4
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