Software and computers represent expanding technological areas in which companies, if they wish to remain competitive, must innovate on an almost continuing basis. As the price of computing devices continues to decrease, companies increasingly add intelligence and communications capabilities to existing products and services to produce an array of patentable inventions. Additionally, laws that govern computer software vary significantly around the world. More than any other industry, computer software is characterized by low barriers to entry and standardization to facilitate compatibility.
Protecting and commercializing software calls on a host of different areas of law. Statutory and common law forms of property rights are used to protect the software. Employment law is referred to in determining the legal status of the relationship between the developer and its workers, and the client and software developer, important when determining ownership. Sale of goods legislation (the Uniform Commercial Code in the United States of America) can apply when determining the extent of the warranties that a vendor of software has made. Trade legislation can apply, for example, if for some reason the U.S.A. feels that the software is being exported from that country and contains "secrets" such as encryption devices, the export of which is prohibited. Entertainment law (as a sub-set of copyright law) is called on when dealing with multi-media content. The law relating to damages and economic loss can apply in the event that software is faulty.
We understand and apply these
principles, whether we are forming a client's intellectual property
strategy, determining whether to make or buy technology, defending
against allegations of infringement or drafting licenses. We address
issues of local law, antitrust and regulatory compliance in every
transaction, strategic plan and intellectual property matter we handle.
We employ combined technological and legal expertise to help companies
identify potential litigation issues during early stages of business
development, helping clients protect against problems further down the
By working closely with inventors during early stages of business' growth, our team focuses on protection of current products as well as support for covering future products. We work with inventors and companies involved in all aspects of computer and software design as well as counsel companies developing technologies in areas such as wireless communications, TCP/IP, voice over Internet (VoIP), object-oriented systems, HTML/XML, cryptography, microprocessor design, and parallel and distributed computing.
involvement includes preparing, reviewing and negotiating contracts, such
as agreements in the following areas: software licensing, software
development, maintenance, leasing, software purchase and turnkey, computer
service and outsourcing, nondisclosure, original equipment manufacturer,
dealership, vendor distribution forms and manufacturer’s representative
agreements, among others. We also draft and register patents, copyright
and trademarks before United States Patent and Trademark Office and
Canadian Intellectual Property Office to protect ownership rights in
computer software technology developed by our clients. Trademark
representation ranges from advising both domestic and foreign companies
prior to development and use of a trademark, to
registration with the United States Patent and Trademark office and
Canadian Intellectual Property Office, protection of trademarks abroad, and