Protect your Software or App
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What is a software? A software is a program created in computer language, which contains a set of logic instructions which allow a machine to carry out a determined operation or function.
What do we mean by software? The actual software is the part usually written by a software developer, in a text file called source code.
To this day, software has become essential in almost every working environment and not only: just think of database software, administrative software, educational software, project management software or video editing software.
Every applicative software has peculiar characteristics which make it unique and different from the others. Aspects which, if suitably protected, can represent strategic advantages.
How do you effectively protect a software?
Depending on its characteristics and specific needs, there are many ways in which a software can be protected after its creation by a developer or a team of developers. To identify the most suitable protection, it is necessary to preliminarily analyze the software with the help of an expert.
In this field, whoever has a great idea must protect it as soon as possible regardless of being an administrative or a project management software for the in-house organization of a company, of a CRM to manage the relation with clients, of a video-editing program or 3d-design. Only with the help of an expert you can have a complete overview of the possible protections for your software and find the right one for you.
Proprietary Software and Open-source Software
Based on the licenses with which every single product is released, we can break down the types of software.
As a matter of fact, there are proprietary software and open-source software. Let’s see the differences.
A proprietary software is a type of application which cannot be modified. This entails that it can only be used the way it was written by the developer and it is not possible to access the source code and/or modify it. Only the creator of the source code, that is the owner, can modify it.
An open-source software, on the contrary, is an application released with a license which allows to see, edit, copy and redistribute the code. This type of software, as the name suggests, is “open” that is accessible to anyone who wants to visualize it and partially or totally modify it.
However, it is important to remember that “open” does not mean free. An open-source software can be also distributed for a fee. It all depends on the license of use; it is always important to read it carefully before using any software to avoid mistakes.
If you need to set up a license to distribute your software or you want to verify the license of use of a program, fill out the form on this page and request the preliminary consultation of one of our professionals.
What part of a software can be protected and how
A software consists in many different parts and precisely for this reason it is possible to resort to different protection in order to protect a software at 360 degrees.
Patents are undoubtedly the strongest protection for a software for they allow to protect and secure the innovative functionalities of the application in terms of flowchart. Moreover, the software patent does not depend on the existence of a source code – the protection can be obtained even if the code at the base of the software is not completely written.
Nevertheless, this is not always a viable option. To understand whether a software is patentable or not, it is essential to consult an expert engineer of the field, who will evaluate if the protection granted by the patent may be the right choice.
A software can also be protected through copyright, which protects mainly the code.
Protecting a software with copyright is very useful, especially for innovative startups. Specifically, depositing the copyright of a software is very important in order to have a more effective protection against possible plagiarism and to have a proof of the paternity and the existence of the software at a specific time.
With regards to the graphic interface, the design is a very important protection to have. Many don’t take into consideration this kind of protection, but it can be extremely useful to protect certain layouts, patterns created at the user-experience level of an app or a software.
Lastly, for what concerns brand protection, nowadays registering a trademark is crucial in any field and even more so in relation to a project connected to a software or an app, in order to protect the name that identifies it.
A trademark, to this day, is a must-have that cannot be overlooked.
|What it protects||The innovative function of the software||The code as written||Graphic interface||Name and/or logo of the software|
|Where it is recognized||In the territory where it is granted||In the States adhering the Berne Convention||In the territory where it is registered||In the territory where it is registered|
|Duration||20 years||The life of the author plus 70 years after his/her death||5 years, renewable (max. 25 years)||10 years, renewable without limits|
Software development: the importance of a good contract
Developing a software is a process that can take many forms.
It can be a linear process, for instance. In this case, the creator is the software developer who is able to transform his or her idea in reality through computer language.
Oftentimes, however, the project of software development can be more complex. For example, it may happen that the subject with the idea to develop and the programmer are not the same person. Or, there can be many subjects involved, such as investors, stakeholders, product owners involved in the ideation of the software, with many different interests to take into consideration.
In such a situation, having a good software development contract at the base can be extremely important.
Protection of an NDA
In an initial phase, when it is necessary to share delicate and confidential information with other people in order to realize the idea, drawing up a non-disclosure agreement – or NDA – can be very useful.
Online there are many examples or fac-similes of NDAs or software development contracts. Even though using something ready-made could seem to be the fastest and cheapest choice, these solutions are often flawed. They do not take into consideration the peculiarities of the project to protect and the needs of the subject.
Ufficiobrevetti.it can count on a team of attorneys with a long-lasting experience in the field of software and intellectual property protection. Get in touch, we will be ready to offer you the most suitable contract according to your needs.
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