We help our clients make stronger arguments in software copyright cases.
Copyright is an indispensable form of intellectual property protection for the software industry. At the same time, software copyright is a complex and continuously evolving area of the law. A common misconception is that copyright only protects source code — in fact, copyright also protects software designs, user interface elements, and object code. At the same time, ideas, facts, functions, and processes are generally not protected by copyright. Determining what aspects of a software program are eligible for copyright protection is a complex task, and determining whether copyright infringement has taken place is even more complex.
What We Do
Quandary Peak experts can:
- Document control structure, data structure, data flow, information architecture, and textual organization of the code.
- Reduce the cost and complexity of applying the abstraction-filtration-comparison (AFC) test by refining and focusing the task.
- Identify unprotectable ideas, functions, facts, and processes that are not eligible for copyright protection.
- Prepare well-focused exhibits describing the relevant portions of code at multiple levels of abstraction.
- Offer technical grounds both in defense of AFC choices and to challenge AFC choices made by the opposing party.
- Explain when copying for the purpose of legitimate reverse engineering is a fair use.
- Analyze the four factors to be considered in determining fair use.
What We Know
- Software structure, sequence, and organization (SSO)
- Computer Associates International v. Altai
- Substantial similarity of non-literal elements of a program
- The difference between expression and idea in source code
- The abstraction, filtration, comparison (AFC) test
- Whelan Associates v. Jaslow Dental Laboratory
- Derivative works and compilations
- Lotus Development v. Borland International
- How copyright protects both source code and object code
- Gates Rubber v. Bando Chemical
- Methods of operation