Are you a computer software developer? Have a database and a software product been developed for your unique production process? Are you interested in protecting your rights in your software product abroad? Then this article is addressed to you.
No advanced technological process can avoid automation. Sometimes, the business success is almost directly related to the automation of the production process. That is why every day a large number of new software products appears on the market. But software products and databases have to be protected by confirming your intellectual rights in the developments.
As a starting point, we will mention the fact that computer software products and databases are copyright items. Particularly, computer software products are legally related to literary works, and databases – to compiled works.
According to the legislative acts, copyrights arise from the moment of creation of the work and do not require mandatory registration. The owners of these items can register them at their own discretion.
Many people confuse exclusive rights in works and the right of paternity. The right of paternity is inalienable and owned by those individuals who created the work.
The exclusive right is the right to dispose the computer software products and the databases (to use the work by yourself, to transfer it to other persons, to sell it, to prohibit third parties to use it without your consent) and it is owned by the copyright holders.
What is the software registration for?
Since the registration of computer software products and databases is not mandatory, a reasonable question arises: what is the software product or the database registration for?
Registration of these intellectual property items enables you:
- to define the content of the work;
- to fix the date (of the registration);
- to fix the composition of the authors;
- to fix the copyright holder;
- to obtain a title of protection – a registration certificate.
All this information makes it easier to continue using the software product.
If you are planning to conduct foreign economic activity, you will certainly be interested in protecting your rights in computer software products and databases abroad.
But everything is simple. The exclusive rights in computer software products and databases as copyright items have no territorial limitation. This principle is affirmed in the Universal Copyright Convention.
However, many authors and copyright holders, in order to avoid the problems when using software products abroad, duplicate the registration procedure in the countries of interest. For example, a similar procedure for computer software registration exists in the United States and China.