One way to protect software, in addition to copyrights and license agreements, is through software patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Software is tough to develop, and software patents can likewise be difficult to draft and subsequently get approved.
Software Patent Protection
According to The Washington Post, “a recent study from the Government Accountability Office found that a disproportionate share of patent litigation concerns software patents.” Much of this software litigation is a direct result of relatively new software patents and how quickly many of those patents were granted. Because poorly drafted patents may cover more features of an invention than the Patent Office may have intended, legitimate newer software systems and products might be under frivolous threats of software litigation. Our attorneys advise companies facing software patent litigation that comes from overly broad patents. In addition, if another company is trying to reverse engineer or steal a patented program, our attorneys can also help advise clients on how to gain software protection.
Software Copyright Protection
Whereas a software patent may protect an idea involving novel and nonobvious software, a software copyright may protect the “tangible” expression of the idea through certain types of code. End-users may illegally utilize or repurpose that code in violation of software copyrights. In response, our attorneys can help monitor software patents’ use and prevent their misuse, which may include stopping distribution of software copies.
As a software and copyrights law firm, our software and copyrights attorneys can assist with advising on software patents legal issues. See our Software & Copyrights service line page for additional information about software patents legal services.