- Published: 03 March 2021 03 March 2021
By Beverly A. Marsh, Partner, Patent Attorney, Standley Law Group LLP
Clients often want to know how they can best protect their software. The answer usually lies in a combination of different forms of intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Whereas patents protect inventions (how it works, what it does) and trademarks protect brands, copyrights protect original works of authorship. Works of authorship, often referred to as just “works”, are forms of expression and by definition do not include any ideas, processes, concepts that underly those works. For example, in the art world an idea might be a bowl of peaches on a table, and a work of authorship an artist’s painting of the bowl of peaches. In the software world an idea might be a phone app that displays the weather. A related work of authorship is how a developer creates their version of an app that displays the weather, including their original source code, design layouts, textual content, images, and graphics.