Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Protection Cleantech software

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
With demand to boost the CleanTech, software developers have to invest to protect significant research, development and financial resources in their products on intellectual property (IP) rights to these investments leave. While developers and investors rely on UK and EU law, this is worldwide only a part of the larger issue of the protection of intellectual property in technology for renewable energy. For example, the Chinese Ministry of industry and information technology followed a 10-year growth plan of the country's renewable energies increase profile, have already overtaken the United States in installed wind energy. China's legal framework for IP protection has been developed in recent years to the future values in renewable energy, including changes to patent law to attract foreign direct investment to protect so quickly.

Protection by copyright

As with all software, the most important legal protection for CleanTech software is copyright. In the UK, this is subject to the copyright designs and Patents Act 1988 (remained). The remained computer programs count as well as ' preparatory design material for a computer program ', such as literary works.

The EC directive defines a computer program as including: ' in any form, including those integrated in hardware [and]... are preparatory design leads to the development of a computer program to work, provided that the nature of the preparatory work is so that a computer program at a later time can result from it.'

Programmer, software solutions for the CleanTech market should develop therefore ensure that qualified their work for copyright protection. During computer programs, including source code, for which protection can qualify as original literary works under the remained, the screen designs can be protected just as by artistic copyright in many parts, which an artistic painting is protected.

To be a prerequisite for copyright is that the computer program must be 'original'. This is rarely pose any difficulties, as long as the program know your own skill, and was created by the programmers.


Databases, require however to qualify a higher standard of originality for copyright protection. Of particular importance for the CleanTech area, will be given the fact that many software applications use databases with weather, climate, dispersion or oceanic data calculations to things like sunlight requirements or wind and tides to determine strengths of specific locations.

A database, such as UK cloud forecasts and records that a software application to allow it, in order to evaluate, for the installation of solar panels for qualified the suitability of specific locations copyright ' If, and only then, if the selection or arrangement of the contents of the database is the own intellectual creation ' (section 3a 2 remained). When deciding what and how many forecasts and data sets contain what and how to structure the information and organize that it requires excluded an act of intellectual creation, the database probably qualify the user to get a reliable forecast so for copyright protection.

As with any database, the independent collect, subject to data or the CleanTech area also a two-stage approach, where can the database not only among the remained, as well as the copyright and rights in databases Regulations 1997 (regulations) or even both be protected other materials to meet the requirements.Protection under the regulations may apply, if the database is considered to be 'commercially valuable' a monetary investment (whether financial, human and technical resources) can as a result.

In the example above the final database could be protected derived therefore copyright on two levels (which cloud forecasts and records in the United Kingdom, Crown copyright could be, through the metal Office, as well as licensed the database as a whole) and possibly even under the provisions of EU law.

Recorded request

The more legitimate demand for section 3.2 remained the work must be in writing or otherwise will be also be 'saved', easy to meet. Programmer software however not forget that since the remained contains 'Computer programs' under 'literary works', only the underlying language programming Cleantech is protected during, for example, the graphical user interface, from the programming can be protected as a literary work, (although artistic copyright could apply).

In fact, it is the question of whether the functionality of a software program, in contrast to the underlying code can be protected the key issue in a case currently before Europe's highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In this case, a software development company claims violating an other programmer, world programming, SAS Institute, of copyright through the development of a competing program allegedly detailed information originally SAS own manuals to.

While world programming never any SAS of the source code copied (which would be probably copyrighted), they nevertheless reached a program that perform the same functions as the SAS product. SAS argued that copyright should apply also to the functions of computer programs and not only the source code, so not 'the copyright holder of a significant part of the value of the protection for computer programs deprive'. The English High Court has a number of questions to the ECJ on the correct interpretation of EU law and, above all, the software directive.

Request you to General bot recently his opinion before the ECJ binding decision issued, is expected this year to the questions by the English High Court. The Advocate General concludes that the protection of a computer program is not limited to the source code and object code, but covers other elements, which the own intellectual creativity, skill and originality. Therefore, programmers can only the functionality or "look and feel"A program that the underlying source code or object code or any other elements resulting from the own intellectual creation replicate, if they do not copy a substantial part."

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