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Intellectual Property in Software Applications (Claudia Jelea)

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You may often hear people talking about intellectual property. But have you ever wondered what does it really mean for those software applications you develop either for your employer, for that overseas client or for your own IT start-up? Do you know how to protect it or how to effectively exploit it?

Think about a software application as a cake with many layers - the first one being the code (copyrighted or open source). Have you considered the legal implications of mixing "closed source" with open source?

This session will cover the basics of intellectual property tailored to the software industry and offer a few practical examples and insight.

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  • 1. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Intellectual Property in Software Applications Claudia Jelea – Lawyer & Trademark Attorney Jlaw.ro / ipboutique.ro claudiajelea
  • 2. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Huge thanks to our sponsors & partners!
  • 3. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Think about your software product as a cake with many layers… Photo credit: Sarah Jones on Brit + Co.
  • 4. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# 1st layer - you’ve written the 1st line of code, congrats! 2nd layer - some other great deal of lines of code 3rd layer - some third party or open source code/library 4th layer - some embedded database or any artwork … n layer - look & feel interface n+1 cake layer - name / brand HOW TO PROTECT IT?
  • 5. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# COPYRIGHT DESIGN PATENTS RIGHTS IN DATABASES TRADEMARK & DOMAIN NAME
  • 6. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# COPYRIGHT Source code Object code Mobile apps Enterprise apps Operating systems Preparatory material Databases GUI Games Manuals Artwork
  • 7. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Who owns it? Author (programmer)/employer/client contracts Protection from date of creation; no legal formality; Registration with ORDA – under certain conditions; KEY ISSUES ON COPYRIGHT
  • 8. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Vulnerability – sometimes, not easy to prove in court; Example1: X writes a software; Y decompiles and re-writes it. → 2 similar competing software. Both X & Y say he’s the author. Example2: Game rip-off - expression vs idea Open source code comes with special licenses; know their terms; License or assignment contracts (licență sau cesiune)? KEY ISSUES ON COPYRIGHT (2)
  • 9. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Design protects the exterior aspect NOT the software; GUI protected by registered design (if legal conditions are met); Filing for design – before GUI is put on the market; Counterfeiting a protected GUI – criminal offence; KEY ISSUES ON DESIGN
  • 10. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Computer programs as such - not inventions (no technical character); A technical problem has to be solved in a new and non-obvious manner; Computer-implemented inventions OK (if legal conditions are met) EU & US patent systems – still miles away; KEY ISSUES ON PATENTS
  • 11. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Collection or compilation of data (derivative work); 2 different types of protection: Copyright (if database is original) Sui-generis rights (protect the contents) Personal Data KEY ISSUES ON DATABASES
  • 12. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# TM protects a sign NOT a software; Standard Nice Classes related to software: 9, 42 + others – depending on the activity (35, 37, 38, etc.) If registered in RO, protection only in RO; Registration of someone else's TM as a domain name is often treated as TM infringement; KEY ISSUES ON TRADEMARKS
  • 13. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14#  Distinct types of IP protection;  Not antagonistic - one protection does not exclude the others;  In all cases (except for copyright and databases), you get protection if you apply for it and follow the relevant legal steps; KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • 14. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14#  Pay attention to contractual clauses where you license or transfer IP in your product – under which conditions?  Contracts with focus on IP will be the stars when you want to sell your software;  Real world laws apply to the digital world as well; KEY TAKEAWAYS (2)
  • 15. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# Q & A THANK YOU!
  • 16. Premium community conference on Microsoft technologies itcampro@ itcamp14# E-mail: claudia.jelea@jlaw.ro claudiajelea Avocatnet.ro/claudiajelea www.jlaw.ro www.ipboutique.ro IPBoutique.Legal

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