Software and Intellectual Property Protection: Copyright and Patent Issues for Computer and Legal Professionals

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How has the legal system used its traditional body of copyright and patent law to protect rights in computer software? The last 15 years have changed the entire landscape with regard to the creation and protection of software as intellectual property. Written by a computer expert with extensive participation in some of the most important software trials of the period, this book invites you to think critically about significant software issues and learn about the legal pitfalls surrounding software development in the industry today.

The book is organized around various legal issues raised by both plaintiffs and defendants in copyright litigation, and the problems of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in dealing with the rapid proliferation of applications for software-related patents. The author explains important terms and concepts in software litigation such as infringement, substantial similarity, reverse engineering, the merger defense, and look and feel. A succinct, readable survey for computer professionals, nonlegal academics, and lawyers who need a fast summary of the critical issues and cases in software and intellectual property matters.

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Editorial Reviews

For computer professionals with no legal background and lawyers who need a quick summary, explains the copyright and patent issues and pitfalls surrounding software development. Draws from arguments raised by plaintiffs and defendants in litigation and the problems of the US Patent Office dealing with the flood of applications for software related patents. The aim is to inform software developers of how to avoid problems by knowing what can and cannot be protected. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899309743
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/1995
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

BERNARD A. GALLER is Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, and has served as an expert witness in major intellectual property cases during the last 15 years.

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Table of Contents


Legal Issues

Idea or Expression?

Software Patents

The "Tangible Medium"

Validity and Scope


Substantial Similarity

"Look and Feel"

Reverse Engineering

The Clean Room Approach

Where Are We Now?

Appendix A: The Computer; Software; Translators; Operating Systems; The User Interface; Macros, Parameters, and Microcode

Appendix B: An Example of a Patent

Recommended Sources for Extended Reading


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