Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1411438
 


 



Japanese Courts Interpret the ‘Algorithm’ Limitation on the Copyright Protection of Programs


Dennis S. Karjala


Arizona State University College of Law

1991

Jurimetrics Journal, Vol. 31, p. 233, 1991

Abstract:     
The Japanese Copyright Law provides that copyright protection in computer programs does not extend to algorithms used in making programs. In March of 1989, the 29th division of the Tokyo District Court, which specializes in intellectual property cases, had occasion to consider how far beyond the literal code of a computer program the scope of protection would extend, in the context of a motion for preliminary injunction against alleged infringement of the copyright in several computer programs in Systems Science Corp. v. Toyo Sokki K.K. Implicitly, the court dealt with the algorithm limitation on the scope of protection. The case was then appealed to the Tokyo High Court, which issued an opinion in June 1989 expressly relying in part on the statutory algorithm limitation.

While the two courts differed in their views on whether an injunction should be issued with respect to programs that were admittedly copied by the defendants, both courts used strong language in denying plaintiff’s claim of infringement with respect to another program that was not literally copied. Both opinions stand in sharp contrast to the famous Whelan Inc. v. Jaslow Dental Laboratory, Inc. decision in the United States, which held that the copyright in a computer program protects only against literal copying of code but also against copying of structure, sequence and organization. The Japanese case strongly suggests that courts in Japan will take a more moderate approach to the protection of computer programs under copyright law than have courts in the United States.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Systems Science Corp. v. Toyo Sokki K.K., Japanese Copyright Law, Whelan Inc. v. Jaslow Dental Laboratory, Inc.

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: May 29, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Karjala, Dennis S., Japanese Courts Interpret the ‘Algorithm’ Limitation on the Copyright Protection of Programs (1991). Jurimetrics Journal, Vol. 31, p. 233, 1991. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1411438

Contact Information

Dennis S. Karjala (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-4010 (Phone)
480-965-2427 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.public.asu.edu/~dkarjala
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 363
Downloads: 19

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.328 seconds