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    Nowadays individuals from all over the world rely on the assistance of computer technology in various fields. Indeed, there is no such computer or device that can work without the software. Moreover, the software is important in many other industries and fields, as well. To be able to protect it, the software may be officially registered. Although software registration is not crucially necessary to be done, it is highly recommended so as to protect any application or program.

    Patent protection usually depends on the country-to-country basis, meaning that the law of each country, in particular, is active within its borders only. However, there is also the difference between registering the software and activating the product. What is the definition of software registration and what exactly does it protect from the competitors?

    What is software registration?

    Software registration is the process of entitling an individual to product support. Many may mistake it for product activation, but this term is actually different, meaning that particular software can be installed on a limited number of devices set by the developer of the software.

    There is a big number of countries in which computer programs or any other software for all kinds of devices are protected under the copyright granted under the country’s law. Although software patent has many nuances to consider before registering particular software, the actual process of registering a computer program or any other software is not that complicated as it may seem. On the other hand, depending on the country’s law, the developer of software may need the assistance of an experienced specialist. Another important aspect to be aware of lies in the difference between copyright protection and patent.

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    When it comes to copyright, it usually expires fifty, or in some countries seventy, years after the death of the author of particular software invention. Copyright usually protects the idea which lies in the software program or any other intellectual property, which is not the case with the patent. Individuals are allowed to use a particular program provided to them, but its idea belongs to the author only. Copyright protection is usually automatic and occurs when a particular software program is created and disclosed to the public.

    The software patent process is way different from the copyright. Patents strongly protect particular computer inventions, programs, and other computer developments. It usually protects the expressions of a particular idea, meaning that the invention cannot be used by a third party unless there is permission from the developer. Patents can be registered within one country only but that means that the software can be used in other countries. However, to be able to avoid that, a big number of software programs are registered internationally. The term of protection is shorter in comparison to the copyright registration, lasting just twenty years after filling the application form.

    What laws apply when registering software?

    When registering intellectual property and software programs, one obtains copyright protection. When it comes to European countries, the law provides copyright protection of intellectual property as soon as the work is created. The owner of the software does not have to go through the formal process of applying and there is no need to fill certain documents. According to the laws of the European Union, copyright protection provides economic, as well as moral rights. Outside the European Union, the duration of copyright can last up until fifty years after the death of the developer, only if a country signed the Berne Convention. Inside the Union, the software is protected within seventy years after the owner’s death. But laws apply in other countries around the globe?

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    In the United Arab Emirates, patent on software can be registered through the website of the Ministry of Economy only. According to the laws, patent protection in the UAE is provided if:

    • The invention is created as a result of a unique idea that helps improve technology in a particular field.
    • Innovative improvement is considered to have any scientific basis officially approved.

    International Center for Patent Registration on the territory of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for registering patents in the country. The owners and developers of software programs can easily submit an application online by visiting the website of the ministry. The process also requires a full description of the intellectual property, as well as any other software invention. The description ought to have basic technical information easily understood by any third party.

    Why do you need official registration?

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    Knowing the actual difference between copyright and computer program patent, it is clear why it is necessary to register any software and intellectual property. The process requires identifying the core part of any program innovation that ought to be protected from being used by third parties. One must be aware of the fact that considering copyright protection would mean that it protects the literal expression of a certain software program, whereas the main idea can be used by third parties legally. On the other hand, when it comes to patent protection, in particular, the innovative software program ought to be patentable. There are certain requirements for patentability, these are:

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    • A software program or any other invention ought to be ingenious.
    • It should be useful.
    • Based on a unique idea.

    The requirements may vary depending on the country, as well. That is why it is important to advice local specialist of intellectual property that is familiar with all technical sides of the issue.

    Required documents

    Software patent application requires completing the given application form and creating a full detailed description of the product. According to the European Union, patent protection can be:

    • National.
    • International.
    • Regional.

    Other formalities are authentication by a public notary and fee payment. The final procedure would be setting the scope of patent protection, meaning that the intellectual property may be used by third parties only limitedly. Afterward, the Patent Office must verify the invention considering all patentable subject matters. The owner receives a certificate, stating the exclusive rights of the developer.

    When it comes to copyright protection of software in the European Union, the procedure does not require any particular application process. It automatically starts as soon as particular software is created.

    The author of the intellectual property may attach so-called copyright notice, followed by the year of software development.

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    Conclusion

    When registering software or any other intellectual property, it is important to distinguish copyright and patent protection. The procedure is usually performed according to the law of the country where the project is registered. The software may also be protected internationally or locally, within the country of registration. It is better to do with the assistance of a local specialist to learn all the nuances of the procedure.

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