Randy Colson in Software Magazine: Be Wise About IP Protection

07/22/2013


In a world where people have instant access to code information online, software developers must take steps to ensure their intellectual property (IP) is adequately protected. Contract, copyright, patent, trade secret, and trademark laws all may be used to protect software.

Lawyers specializing in software IP protection understand the intricacies of the law and advise developers to take certain steps to clarify exactly what belongs to whom. While legal action is sometimes required to protect IP, proactive measures are always the best place to begin...

"To ensure that the developer owns all of their IP, they should require all employees and, most importantly, all non-employee contractors to sign agreements that transfer all of their individual IP rights in work performed for the developer to the developer," advises Randall E. Colson, partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP.

Who owns what aspects of the IP comprising software plays a major part in the developer’s legal rights, which is why Freibrun encourages IP owners to protect software and other IP assets under contract. He explains that without a written agreement assigning ownership of the various IP rights in developed software to the hiring party, an independent contractor is generally deemed by law to be the owner of the copyrights, patent rights—if the software reflects a patentable invention—and trade secret rights in the software.

Excerpted from Software Magazine, July 22, 2013. To view full article, click here.

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