Source code is a very fundamental piece of code that contains a precise list of commands. These commands are to be executed by a computer program to perform certain tasks. Few people know that source code, by itself, is protected under the United States copywrite laws. Source code is considered literary work therefore is protected by copywrite. US copyright registration can be used to apply the copyright in the source code, this includes addressing copyright infringement by filing a lawsuit in federal court.
An example of a federal copywrite infringement is the Waymo vs. Google lawsuit, involving the alleged infringement by Google. (https://www.wired.com/story/uber-waymo-lawsuit-settlement/) Allegedly a former employee of the company Waymo took source code to their biggest competitor, Google. Because Waymo owned and registered copyrights to the source code, they were allowed to file the law suit against Google. And later settling with a large sum of money estimated to be $245 million paid by Google. Additionally, the apparatus, methods, and systems derived from software code may be protectable under United States patent laws.
If you are interested in legal protection for your software’s source code, reach out to intellectual property and patent attorney Derek Fahey (https://plusfirm.com/staff-member/derek-fahey-esquire/) for a free consultation.
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