I heard it is not really worth copyrighting software as it has to be all the lines of code as a whole so someone could steal 99% of it without issues. I’m guessing that’s wrong!
Mike Williams “Copyright can be used to prevent copying a portion of the software code. Copyright also has the advantage that it exists automatically, the moment you write your code. However, reliance on copyright protection means you must prove that direct copying occurred for any relief to be sought. If the code is different, copyright will not apply, even if the code does the same thing.
In contrast, software patents protect the inventive concept behind the software, therefore providing stronger protection than copyright. A patent is infringed when an unauthorised party (the “infringer”) works your invention even if the infringer did not copy from you.”
OK, so patents are best but copyright can be useful where copying has taken place. What other things should tech founders think about when it comes to IP?
Mike Williams “Even if you are not interested in obtaining a patent for your product, do you know if you are infringing anybody else’s rights? If there are existing registered rights in force, you run the risk of having to stop selling, paying damages/royalties, or potentially being sued and becoming embroiled in infringement proceedings. Your own IP can be used to stop competitors using your invention but does not necessarily ensure you are free to use your invention - having a patent covering one aspect of your product does not preclude a competitor having their own patent covering a different aspect.”