How To Copyright And Patent Your Software
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If you're wondering how to copyright software, the good news is you've probably already done it.At least you have if you have ever written software. Most people get confused over exactly what having a copyright for their software means. Only those things that can be seen (when it comes to software) can be copyrighted. If you want to protect the abstract, look into patents. Otherwise if it is original, fixed, and tangible you can copyright it. Essentially you already know how to copyright software if you've put it into a finished form. Once you've written the source code, the copyright belongs to you.
Copyrighting software doesn't offer the protection that many people hope it will. The idea of software and anything about the finished product that wasn't available in a tangible (visible) form isn't protected by copyright. In fact, the only thing undeniably protected by software copyright is the source code. The question you should ask yourself is not how to copyright software, but how to patent your software.
What Is A Software Patent?
A “software patent” has no universal understanding. In general, owning a patent allows a company certain rights (or exclusivity) for a prescribed amount of time. Individuals or corporations seeking a patent must apply for a patent in each country in which they wish to have one. Unlike copyrights, patents are not automatically granted to applicants and can take a while to be approved.
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