How do you protect Intellectual Property in your software? TRA’s Anirudh Rastogi discusses copyright (0:00) and patent protection for software (0:24). He also discusses protection of IP in UI and UX (1:51) and physical checks for the protection of IP (2:36).
Protecting intellectual property in software can be tricky. Generally speaking, Indian law provides for weak protection over software. Copyright is a protection over ‘form’ not ‘substance’. Hence, it protects the code in the manner it is written, but any changes to the code in ‘form’ could potentially obviate the copyright. While Patents law allows protection over the ‘substance’ of the inventive work, software Patents are barred under Indian law. At least software, pure and simple, cannot be patented. A software-hardware integration could be patented. It is important therefore to evaluate the patentability of your software before filing an application. However, many businesses file for patent protection of software even if it demonstrates no dependency on any hardware. Why so is discussed in the video. The video also discusses protection of User Interface of a software, website or application. Here again there are limitations to what may be protected.
In the absence of strong IP protection for software, one must focus on alternatives. Non-disclosure agreements are one example. This is also discussed in the video.