Developing a software application requires a great deal of expertise, time, and effort. This is because good software programmes are able to perform tasks that make your life easier. Therefore, it becomes essential to protect this software from infringement. In Canada, there are no definite laws for software protection. But, there are Intellectual Property (IP) laws that can be used to protect your computer program.
An intellectual property lawyer in Edmonton can help you obtain legal protection for your innovative software. But it is advisable that you have a basic understanding of the laws which can help you avoid incidents of infringement. So, let’s discuss the laws that can be used to protect your software in Canada:
If you speak with any intellectual property professional, the first thing you will be told about is the Canadian Copyright Law. A copyright gives you the sole right for producing or reproducing your entire work or a substantial part of it in any form. It provides protection to literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works. In Canada, a software can be copyrighted as a literary work.
Once you officially copyright your software, you can legally prevent anyone from reproducing the software or making copies of a part of it. As a copyright owner, you will be able to license your software to others and also restrain them from leasing it to anyone else. Ownership of the material lasts until 50 years after the death of the copyright creator.
This also makes you eligible for legally assigning a license to someone else that allows them to reproduce your software. However, this agreement should be formulated in writing.
In some cases, your software could also be eligible for a patent. Your intellectual property agent or lawyer in Edmonton will be able to assist you in determining whether or not your software can be patented. The owner of a Canadian patent has the exclusive right to use, sell, produce, and construct his invention in the country. This is applicable throughout the term of the patent. It is recommended that you consult your IP agent while filing an application for patenting your software to have the best chance at obtaining an issued patent.
Trademarking is another way of protecting your software. According to the IP law in Canada, a trademark is one or more words, sounds or designs that are employed to distinguish the goods or the services of an organization from those of others. Software companies, like Microsoft and Lotus, have trademarked their brand as well as product (software) names, designs, and logos to establish a unique identity in the market.
You can register your trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Once you own a trademark, you can stop others from illegally using your software name for confusing purposes.
An Intellectual Property agent or lawyer in Edmonton can help you obtain legal protection for your innovative software. If you need further advice on protecting your software, consult our team at Prowse Chowne.