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Software and Intellectual Property Rights  

This LibGuide provides important information that every software developing company must know about Software and Intellectual Property Rights (Patent, Copyright, Trade Secrets, & Trademark).
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Library Sources - Books

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Intellectual Property in Electronics and Software - Nicholas Fox (Consultant Editor)
ISBN: 9781905783960
Publication Date: 2013-08-01
Intellectual Property in Electronics and Software provides practical guidance on the challenges of obtaining protection; software protection and the limits of patentability; patent strategy, including approaches to patent drafting to maximise protection; standards setting and reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing; open source software; and other forms of protection such as unfair competition and design rights.

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The Tech Contracts Handbook - David Tollen
ISBN: 9781604429824
Publication Date: 2011-05-16
A reference book that is a clause-by-clause how to guide on software licenses and technology services agreements, covering the issues at stake and offering negotiation tips and sample contract language. It covers topics such as: internet and e-commerce agreements; warranties; indemnities; open source software; and service level agreements.

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Software Piracy Exposed - Ron Honick; Paul Craig; Mark Burnett (Editor)
ISBN: 9781932266986
Publication Date: 2005-04-12
This book is about software piracy--what it is and how it's done. Stealing software is not to be condoned, and theft of intellectual property and copyright infringement are serious matters, but it's totally unrealistic to pretend that it doesn't happen. Software piracy has reached epidemic proportions. Many computer users know this, the software companies know this, and once you've read the Introduction to this book, you'll understand why. Seeing how widespread software piracy is, learning how it's accomplished, and particularly how incredibly easy it is to do might surprise you. This book describes how software piracy is actually being carried out. This book is about software piracy--what it is and how it's done This is the first book ever to describe how software is actually stolen and traded over the Internet.


Library Sources - Scholarly Journals & Articles

1. Planning Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights in Web and Software Development


Regrettably, the United States is the most litigious society on the face of the earth. Even more regrettable, the fuel for the all-consuming (and expensive) fires of litigation, particularly in the area of intellectual property disputes over website and software development, is a failure of the parties to properly structure and plan for ownership of the website and software before they are created. In addition to expensive litigation, these failures can result in consequences not contemplated by one or more of the parties, particularly with regard to the ownership of the resulting product. The problem is compounded by the usual involvement of multiple individuals in the creation of the website and software. Therefore an understanding of the work-for-hire rules as well as what constitutes joint ownership is necessary, to avoid surprise and costly legal disputes as to the ownership of intellectual property rights in the work created

Citation: Apke, T. M., & Parry, R. O. (2007). Planning ownership of intellectual property rights in web and software development. Review of Business, 27(3), 8-15. Retrieved from 

2. Which countries protect intellectual property? The case of software piracy


Using data on software piracy, how protection of intellectual property varies across countries are examined. Consistent with other studies, it is found that intellectual property receives greater protection in developed economies; high-income countries have lower piracy rates. It is also found that protection depends on cultural factors. Countries with an individualist culture have lower piracy rates than do countries with a collectivist culture. Piracy rates are also lower in countries that have strong institutions that enforce contracts and protect property from expropriation. These results suggest that national policies toward intellectual property reflect not only economic concerns but also national culture and institutions. 

Citation: Marron, D. B., & Steel, D. G. (2000). Which countries protect intellectual property? the case of software piracy. Economic Inquiry, 38(2), 159-174. Retrieved from 


3. Defending intellectual property: State efforts to protect creative works


This article examines state efforts to protect intellectual property. In particular, it assesses two alternative hypotheses relating to these efforts: the intellectual property protection argument, which predicts an increasing amount of law aimed at protecting intellectual property from unauthorized use; and the intellectual property access argument, which predicts little growth in law aimed at protecting intellectual property but considerable growth in law aimed at providing access to it. 

Citation: Luckenbill, D. F., & Miller, S. L. (1998). Defending intellectual property: State efforts to protect creative works. Justice Quarterly : JQ, 15(1), 93-120. Retrieved from 


Intellectual Property Rights



Intellectual property rights are at the foundation of the software industry. The term refers to a range of intangible rights of ownership in an asset such as a software program. Each intellectual property “right” is itself an asset, a slice of the overall ownership pie. The law provides different methods for protecting these rights of ownership based on their type.

There are fundamentally four types of intellectual property rights relevant to software: patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks. Each affords a different type of legal protection. Patents, copyrights and trade secrets can be used to protect the technology itself. Trademarks do not protect technology, but the names or symbols used to distinguish a product in the marketplace.



Software & IP: Introduction Video

Subject Guide


More Books

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Intellectual Property in Consumer Electronics, Software and Technology Startups - Gerald B. Halt; John C. Donch; Amber R. Stiles; Fesnak Robert
ISBN: 9781461479116
Publication Date: 2013-09-15
This book provides a comprehensive guide to procuring, utilizing and monetizing intellectual property rights, tailored for readers in the high-tech consumer electronics and software industries, as well as technology startups.  Numerous, real examples, case studies and scenarios are incorporated throughout the book to illustrate the topics discussed.  Readers will learn what to consider throughout the various creative phases of a product's lifespan from initial research and development initiatives through post-production.  Readers will gain an understanding of the intellectual property protections afforded to U.S. corporations, methods to pro-actively reduce potential problems, and guidelines for future considerations to reduce legal spending, prevent IP theft, and allow for greater profitability from corporate innovation and inventiveness.

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Intellectual Property Right, Innovation and Software Technologies - Elad Harison
ISBN: 9781847205827
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
The inclusion of software and algorithms in the scope of patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office has propelled an ongoing debate on the contribution of patents to innovation and economic growth. This book examines the effects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), namely patents and copyrights, on innovation and technical change in information technologies. It provides new insights on the links between markets, technologies and legislation by applying a variety of empirical and analytical methods. The book also explores the success of the Open Source movement to establish an alternative regime for IPRs by illuminating the rationale behind it and illustrating how Open Source can strategically be used by firms.

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Intellectual Property and Open Source - Van Lindberg
ISBN: 9780596517960
Publication Date: 2008-07-25
"Clear, correct, and deep, this is a welcome addition to discussions of law and computing for anyone -- even lawyers!"-- Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society If you work in information technology, intellectual property is central to your job -- but dealing with the complexities of the legal system can be mind-boggling. This book is for anyone who wants to understand how the legal system deals with intellectual property rights for code and other content. You'll get a clear look at intellectual property issues from a developer's point of view, including practical advice about situations you're likely to encounter. Written by an intellectual property attorney who is also a programmer, Intellectual Property and Open Source helps you understand patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and licenses, with special focus on the issues surrounding open source development and the GPL.


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