Software Patent or Copyright : Choose What Suits the Best

Last Updated at: May 25, 2020
251
Software Patent or Copyright: Choose What Suits the Best

The economic growth is of utmost significance for every country. In contrast, what equally matters is social development. Social development is reliable for the creativity and originality of works in the country. To protect the uniqueness of the intellectual property, the authorities grant several intellectual property rights or patent or copyright to the owners of the works. For this, the government has established several acts, namely Copyright Act, 1957, Patents Act, 1970, Trademark Act, 1999, Designs Act, 2001, among others. Over the years, they also made various amendments to better adaptation of the work and rights to the individuals.  

  1. Criteria for copyright

  2. Advantages of copyright registration

  3. History of the copyright law in India

  4. Patent vs copyright: What are the fundamental differences?

  5. Conclusion

Criteria for copyright

There is no specific definition of copyright under the copyright act, 1957. But, according to literal terms, it means the right to copy. The government provides this right only to the owner or the creator of work. Any other person infringing the copyrights will be liable for punishable offenses. It aims at protecting the creativity of the creators. With a validity term of 60 years in India, the government implies these rights with the implications and exemptions. The term varies from country to country.

However, there is one major criterion for copyright. It is the originality of the work. The worth, uniqueness, innovativeness of the creator, and the interest of the public for the work are also considered before registering it for copyright. You can easily get the copyright registration if the work fulfills the above criteria. You can apply offline for the copyright in the copyright office, and there is no such provision of copyright registration online

Protect Your ideas

Advantages of copyright registration

Even though the copyright registration online is not a viable option, it is always an excellent decision to get the copyright for your work. It has several advantages as listed below: 

  • The registration leads to an establishment of a public record for a copyright claim.
  • Moreover, the work needs to be registered under copyright to file a case for infringement.
  • The government makes the provision for the fees of the attorney and statutory damages in case of court actions.

History of the copyright law in India

The copyright act in India developed mainly over three phases. These are:

  • British Copyright Act, 1911: It was the first phase of the copyright act. The British government introduced this under their rule. Under this, the copyright term included the life of an author with 7 years of rights after their death. It was mandatory to register for copyright with the home office. This act had different provisions as compared to the present day.
  • Copyright Act, 1914: It was the second phase of the copyright act. The Indian legislature enacted this under this British rule. The government made several amendments to this act constantly leading to another act.
  • Copyright Act, 1957: It was the third phase of the copyright act. The government of independent India enacted the copyright act of 1957 suiting the Berne Convention. We follow the provisions of this act to date. 

Patent vs copyright: What are the fundamental differences?

The patent and copyright both fall under the category of ‘Intellectual Property’. Both grant the owners exclusive rights for their works. However, people often confuse copyrights and patents with each other. To understand this better, some differences include:

  • Copyright protects the ideas of creative work which include literary works, cinematography, computer programs, music, lyrics, among several others. It is the protection of the expression of ideas. While obtaining a patent, the criteria are different. One must provide a new and novel idea. Along with this, the usefulness of the innovation is equally essential. 
  • Moreover, a common factor among patents and copyright is that both expire after a certain duration. Additionally, and the renewal of the rights is not possible. After the expiration of the work, it is available for public use with no copyright infringement. 
  • Copyright registration is available within the country, with several international agreements. However, patent registration usually adheres to international standards. 

To understand this better, let us consider an example. An individual invents a device suitable for both space and earth’s atmosphere. The person will get the patent for the idea of the device if it justifies that it is novel and useful. After this, if the person writes a book on this device or just makes a recording, he can get the copyright on the book and recording. This example justifies the importance and difference of both patent and copyright protection. In India, they cover the computer programs under the copyright act. Whereas, in the US they grant computer software with patent protection. 

Conclusion

In brief, it is important to understand the differences between the patent and copyright to choose the most suitable one for protecting your work. The works eligible for copyright and patent protection also vary according to the work and their category. 

 

 

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Software Patent or Copyright : Choose What Suits the Best

251

The economic growth is of utmost significance for every country. In contrast, what equally matters is social development. Social development is reliable for the creativity and originality of works in the country. To protect the uniqueness of the intellectual property, the authorities grant several intellectual property rights or patent or copyright to the owners of the works. For this, the government has established several acts, namely Copyright Act, 1957, Patents Act, 1970, Trademark Act, 1999, Designs Act, 2001, among others. Over the years, they also made various amendments to better adaptation of the work and rights to the individuals.  

  1. Criteria for copyright

  2. Advantages of copyright registration

  3. History of the copyright law in India

  4. Patent vs copyright: What are the fundamental differences?

  5. Conclusion

Criteria for copyright

There is no specific definition of copyright under the copyright act, 1957. But, according to literal terms, it means the right to copy. The government provides this right only to the owner or the creator of work. Any other person infringing the copyrights will be liable for punishable offenses. It aims at protecting the creativity of the creators. With a validity term of 60 years in India, the government implies these rights with the implications and exemptions. The term varies from country to country.

However, there is one major criterion for copyright. It is the originality of the work. The worth, uniqueness, innovativeness of the creator, and the interest of the public for the work are also considered before registering it for copyright. You can easily get the copyright registration if the work fulfills the above criteria. You can apply offline for the copyright in the copyright office, and there is no such provision of copyright registration online

Protect Your ideas

Advantages of copyright registration

Even though the copyright registration online is not a viable option, it is always an excellent decision to get the copyright for your work. It has several advantages as listed below: 

  • The registration leads to an establishment of a public record for a copyright claim.
  • Moreover, the work needs to be registered under copyright to file a case for infringement.
  • The government makes the provision for the fees of the attorney and statutory damages in case of court actions.

History of the copyright law in India

The copyright act in India developed mainly over three phases. These are:

  • British Copyright Act, 1911: It was the first phase of the copyright act. The British government introduced this under their rule. Under this, the copyright term included the life of an author with 7 years of rights after their death. It was mandatory to register for copyright with the home office. This act had different provisions as compared to the present day.
  • Copyright Act, 1914: It was the second phase of the copyright act. The Indian legislature enacted this under this British rule. The government made several amendments to this act constantly leading to another act.
  • Copyright Act, 1957: It was the third phase of the copyright act. The government of independent India enacted the copyright act of 1957 suiting the Berne Convention. We follow the provisions of this act to date. 

Patent vs copyright: What are the fundamental differences?

The patent and copyright both fall under the category of ‘Intellectual Property’. Both grant the owners exclusive rights for their works. However, people often confuse copyrights and patents with each other. To understand this better, some differences include:

  • Copyright protects the ideas of creative work which include literary works, cinematography, computer programs, music, lyrics, among several others. It is the protection of the expression of ideas. While obtaining a patent, the criteria are different. One must provide a new and novel idea. Along with this, the usefulness of the innovation is equally essential. 
  • Moreover, a common factor among patents and copyright is that both expire after a certain duration. Additionally, and the renewal of the rights is not possible. After the expiration of the work, it is available for public use with no copyright infringement. 
  • Copyright registration is available within the country, with several international agreements. However, patent registration usually adheres to international standards. 

To understand this better, let us consider an example. An individual invents a device suitable for both space and earth’s atmosphere. The person will get the patent for the idea of the device if it justifies that it is novel and useful. After this, if the person writes a book on this device or just makes a recording, he can get the copyright on the book and recording. This example justifies the importance and difference of both patent and copyright protection. In India, they cover the computer programs under the copyright act. Whereas, in the US they grant computer software with patent protection. 

Conclusion

In brief, it is important to understand the differences between the patent and copyright to choose the most suitable one for protecting your work. The works eligible for copyright and patent protection also vary according to the work and their category. 

 

 

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