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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Trends in Intellectual Property: Focus on Ownership and the IT Professional

Trends in Intellectual Property: Focus on Ownership and the IT Professional
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Author(s): Phil Andersen (Ramapo College of New Jersey, USA) and Cherie Ann Sherman (Ramapo College of New Jersey, USA)
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 3
Source title: Innovations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-261-9.ch069
ISBN13: 9781616921255
EISBN13: 9781466665347

Abstract

Information technology (IT) personnel did not traditionally see themselves as being involved in invention or the production of intellectual property. Even those employed in academia or corporate research and development did not consider the software they developed to be patentable in the same way a chemist or engineer might consider his or her work to be. Until 1995, it was unclear to what extent computer software was patentable and the information technology industry relied on copyright protection for protecting its investment in developing software. The limitations of copyright protection became increasingly apparent after the decision in Apple Computer v. Microsoft Corp., which demonstrated that the “look and feel” of an operating system interface would find limited protection under the copyright law (Byerly, 1998). In this case, the Court stated that because aspects of the user interface were utilitarian and functional it could not be protected by copyright, which only offers protection for artistic expression rather than functionality.

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