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Registration of software and topographies of integrated circuits

Copyright in all types of computer programs (including operating systems and program combinations), which may be expressed in any language and in any form, including source code and object code shall be protected in the same way as copyright in literary works. A computer program is a totality of data and commands presented in an objective form and meant for the functioning of a computer or of other computer facilities for the purpose of obtaining a specific result, including preparatory materials obtained in the course of development of a computer program and audiovisual representations generated by it (art. 1261 of the Russian Civil Code).

Software, Databases, Topographies

 The structure of Intellectual property law is well known and understood. But the application works at the very cutting edge of the technology, ideas and inventions it seeks to regulate. No area embodies this more than Information technology. The creation of personal computers, only 50 years ago, was revolutionary, now they are ubiquitous.

What would we do without computers?

Things have moved on significantly since the first days of Pacman and Tetris. Today the computer software industry is gigantic, employing millions of people and generating large revenues across the world. It is big business. This along with the speed and power of advancement in this field make it a unique area of IP law deemed worthy of an additional layer of protection on top of that afforded by basic copyright law.

It has also become critical to how our society functions, with even mundane products requiring software to make them ‘smarter.’For this reason it is a target for unscrupulous individuals who seek to exploit it.

Computer software assumes the same status as all other created literary works under Russian Federation law. It does not require compulsory registration; the act of creation asserts a copyright for the author. However, the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property allows rights owners the opportunity to register computer software as well as databases and integrated circuit topographies also known as ‘mask work’. These hold similar powers to industrial design rights which might be registered under a patent.

Why register software for protection, when it is already protected?

Where computer software differs from so many other IP rights is its accessibility, especially given the prevalence of the internet, the software can be transferred or ‘bought’ in seconds. Given the internet’s propensity for anonymity and lawlessness is gives the great opportunity for piracy and infringement. It is one of the outstanding issues today in copyright law. Using Rospatent for registration of this software makes the rights owner very clear. It will also make you much more agile in dealing with potential infringement and the ability to dispense your rights as they wish. The market would appear to agree as the number of programmes registered has increased on average by 20% a year in recent times.

We are available to help you through the registration process as quickly and easily as possible. We have a wealth of experience in this area and will ensure can ensure that the grounds for registration are correct and your fillings are fully prepared to ensure your property enjoys the safest protection.

What about Intellectual property rights in the workplace?

If you are the economic rights owner, but your employee is the author, this also ensures clarity regarding possible conflicts over authorship rights. It will also allow you to license, franchise or assign these rights with simplicity and surety. At Prof-patent, we have great experience in drafting and executing such agreements. From an international trade perspective, it will also make it much harder for counterfeiters to import across border agencies without avoiding detection. It will strengthen your position in court if legal arbitration is required. We can deal with all these aspects of software registration on your behalf; don’t take a risk with such a valuable commodity.

It may be small but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.

As mentioned earlier, Topographies and databases also enjoy additional protection via registration. Topographies specifically regarding integrated circuits are regarded as copyright due to their extremely lucrative and technological advantage. Registration must be carried out with all complete topographies to create one complete integrated circuit. This effectively is a design map for the technology which is more commonly known as a chip or microchip.

Is ‘cloud-based’ technology secure?

Along with databases and software, these three aspects form an integral part of electronic technologies. We can advise you on enforcement and protection of said rights whilst enabling you to exploit and distribute them, especially regarding their use in so-called ‘cloud-based’ applications such as e-commerce and social media, where your property is potentially exposed to the greater threat of infringement. Our experience of judicial proceedings in this matter can provide you with assurance that we will recover any potential loss.

Our services:

  • Checking the grounds for registration of rights to a computer program;
  • Checking the draft for the possibility of registering as a computer program;
  • Assisting in preparation of a draft;
  • Preparing and filing of the application for registration of a computer program;
  • Cooperation with the IP Office on the matters of registration of a computer program.