The product of your Intellect, need not be scientific or technical always, rather it can be in form of arts, literature, music, etc. Protection of such work, which many at times cannot find an appropriate protection under Patent, Trademark or Designs, find its protection available in Copyright.
Copyright is unique in another way, as the protection for it subsists from the day of creation itself, and you are not even required to file it for protection for claiming your rights over that work of Copyright. However, some jurisdiction provides for the process of registration of Copyright, like India, and the USA, while some jurisdictions do not have to process for registration of Copyright, like countries of Europe. The countries where the process of registration is available, it may be obligatory for the owner to register in certain cases, like the USA recommends for registration of Copyright if the work is to be commercially exploited. Even though, where the registration of Copyright is not obligatory, then also it is recommended to file for the protection because the registration of Copyright helps out to create a prima facie evidence in a copyright infringement matter before a court when an interim injunction is sought.
Copyrights in Business methods
In a business scenario, many times there are Business Methods which are critical to the business, however which are prohibited to be protected under Patent, can still seek protection under Copyright, if the Business Method can be properly expressed in writing as a copyrighted work. Later on, if any third party tries to adopt the same Business Method, there is a possibility to bring them to the court under infringement of copyright through adaptation of the same from the copyrighted work.
Copyrights in Websites
Websites are another important aspect which can be quite critical to the companies. Sometimes, it can be a marketing and branding mechanism or a digital face of the organization, and other times it can be a whole business itself. It is always important to look into how critical “Business Continuity” of an organization be affected to determine, whether it is good to register the Copyright, or what all should be protected under copyright to be an optimal protection strategy. As per law, each aspect of the website can be a separate subject matter of copyright, for example, the static web pages, the sound played while the website is running on the browser, a video is embedded in one of the web pages. For dynamic websites which has strong database integration, and most of the times presentation of the data changes by changing one of the input value, it is substantially difficult to file for registration for each of the web pages. Also, the back-end data keep on changing in a time period, hence it is more difficult to capture the web pages for protection which are still yet to be in existence. Hence, it is critical to discuss with a Copyright Attorney for an optimal strategy for a best possible protection. There may be a probability, some of the features of website/ web product may be a protectable subject matter in Patents, and it can be a good strategy to go for a Patent Protection for such features.
Copyrights in Mobile Applications
Similar is the scenario with the Mobile Applications. However, with the Mobile application, chances of having any static pages shall be minimal. There can be very few screens on the mobile application where data presentation shall not be dynamic. Remaining other elements can be still present as part of Mobile Application too. In most scenario, the Mobile application itself shall be a web product, and if it has substantial technical enhancement for a specific technical field, it can get a protection under patent. However, many times they can be a mere presentation of information in a particular fashion based on some inputs from the user which cannot be protected under Patents, in such scenario Copyright protection is the best possible scenario. One way is to just file for protection of Mobile application as a computer program for Copyright protection. However, it may not be an optimal protection, as by using a different coding language or minor changes around the user interface, a copier can be off from a purview of Copyright protection. Our Attorneys at Singhwal, who are technically equipped and have an engineering background, can help you to work out a strong protection of your Mobile application by walking through your work, prototype or conceptualization.
As the scenario is with Mobile Application, similar aspects are to be looked into for any Software product. One way to protect them is through filing the copyright protection of the work as Computer Program. However, the fear is still the same, i.e., the user can use a different programming language, tweak the user interface, or even tweak some of the input, processing output, and can move off the purview of Copyright infringement. Hence, priority for protection of software products or computer-implemented inventions should be Patents, but not all software product can be protected under Patents, and they need to resort to Copyright. And, for Copyright protection also, the owner of the product should tactfully look into the subject matter, and work out a copyrightable work which provides for a better protection.
Copyrights in complex subject matter
Sometimes, copyrightable work is complex, and a final product can be a creation of multiple individual subject matter, which in themselves can exist as a work of Copyright. Such examples are commonly available in Music, Songs, Movies, Television Serials/ Soap Operas, etc. Song itself has broad aspects of lyrics, singing performance, and music. And further music has the efforts of music director, and each individual musical instrument players. For a movie, the story, dialogues, direction, songs, and many such works exist. It’s interesting to note that each of them can individually be a subject matter of copyright, and has its protection. Sometimes to keep subsistence and trail of each of such work separately, it may be beneficial to file for each of these works separately.
Similarly, there can be much more work created by a person which can be unique, and new, and can be protected under copyright, like Building Design, Engineering Drawings, CAD, Photographs, Books, Paintings, and many more such creative works. We recommend for a creator, author, and other professionals too deeply look into their work of creation, there intellect, and try to identify whether their work is good enough to be protected, and how much it shall impact on their business or profession, if someone copies it, so that we at Singhwal can suggest you an optimal Copyright filing strategy.
Commercialization of Copyrights
Commercialization of copyright work is substantially different with respect to Patents and Designs. Rather, each work may have a different mechanism to commercialize. Some of the work has direct saleable features, like Movies, Song, Engineering Drawings, CAD, Photographs, Books, etc. These are direct work of sales and have to be dealt differently, with respect to other forms of work which supports the revenue stream, like Mobile App, Websites, Logo, etc. Even court of law can have a different perspective while considering to grant Preliminary Injunction against the saleable work, and the work which supports revenue stream. And, it is suggested to engage the IPR Attorney at an early stage, so that he can help your Business team to suggest best strategies or vet their business strategies to be in-line with the current situation of law.
Even the litigation and contentious strategies for enforcing copyright are to be devised according to business requirements, and with proper benefit analysis. We, at Singhwal, adopt legal strategies for our clients to achieve Business Continuity and Excellence throughout a lifecycle of a copyrighted work.