Debate on the protection of software by patents vs copyright

April 2005


“Once upon a time, we intellectual property lawyers got to live peacefully in our ivory towers. Now it seems that intellectual property policy issues have become fraught with partisan rhetoric. Most open-source promoters are against software patents. Most corporate spokesmen side with patents, period, whether they cover software or not. But it is worth looking beyond the rhetoric”

Microsoft are busy patenting their software and for a very interesting discussion of the relative merits of protecting software by the monopoly protection of patent law or by the more ‘flexible’ protection of copyright see the very useful article¬†“the Fuzzy Software Patent Debate Rages On”¬†by US Attorney Heather J Meeker at

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