Computer law covers many topics that are directly related to intellectual property and Kain Spielman has computer law attorneys ready to assist your needs. Computers, websites, software systems and programs are an integral component of almost every business. Computers permit businesses to better build and monitor supply chains, distribution chains, marketing and sales efforts and customer relations. In our personal lives, computers speed communications efforts, offer a portal to vast amounts of information and permit us to better control many aspects of our daily lives.
Our computer lawyers also assist businesses with protecting custom built programs, securing data gathered by the programs, and ensuring that the businesses can manipulate that data quickly while permitting limited access to the same by salespeople, suppliers and customers. Data security and privacy issues are critical to the acceptance of computerized systems.
Computer programs and software are uniquely protectable under many intellectual property laws such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and laws governing computer access and electronic data transmission and trade secrets. There are several laws and treaties governing domains. Provided below is a summary of the overlap between computer law and other areas of intellectual property that our computer attorneys handle.
We have extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting computer patents for a wide range of industrial applications. Business method patents often are computer-based. Patents protect high level functions of the computer program if the functions are novel and non-obvious. We litigate computer patents in federal courts. Right to use opinions, patent validity opinions and infringement and non-infringement opinions assist our clients in the assessment of their business risks and enable them to exploit I.P. rights.
Copyrights protect executable or object code, source code and file structure. Our services include copyright registration of computer programs, assertion of trade secret status in the registration of the source code, counseling, licensing and transfer of ownership, acquisition, sale and litigation. Typical defenses to copyright infringement include independent development and the right to use and modify third party programs to make them operable.
Unique Computer Laws
Our attorneys are knowledgeable regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)(domain name regulation), the Electronic Communications Protection Act (ECPA)(18 USCS §§ 2510), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)(18 USCS § 1030), the Stored Wire and Electronic Communications Act (18 USCS § 2701) and other laws and regulations relating to computer communications, storage and privacy issues.
Contracts – Trade Secrets and Ownership
Contracts are widely used to regulate data, permit or deny access to systems and govern use of computer systems in web sites. We draft many types of agreements ranging from development agreements, distributor agreements, terms of service contracts and privacy policies. Distributor and programmer developer contracts preserve trade secrets in the executable code and processing algorithms and typically include work for hire provisions.
Trademark registrations protect the name of the program and the web site domain if the domain name is used in the web site banner or at other locations to uniquely designate the goods or services on the web site. We enforce these trademark and domain name rights by pre-litigation cease and desist letters, by federal and state court litigation (and appeals, if necessary), and by UDRP domain dispute administrative procedures.