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Patent and/or Copyright for Software: What Has Been Done So Far?

12 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007  

Richard Watt

University of Canterbury - Economics and Finance; The Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI)

Abstract

The particular case of software seems to have stretched the patent-copyright divide to the point of breakage. Inspite of being traditionally excluded from patent, software is an obvious case of a single creation that embodies both expression and innovation, and so strong arguments exist for software to be both copyrightable and patentable material. The legal profession has looked carefully at the patentability of software over the past 15 years or so, both from a fully legal perspective, and using economic-type arguments. But we are still waiting for the economics profession per sé to set to work on this issue. Here, I shall go through some of the most well known arguments surrounding the protection of software, and then put forward a personal opinion as to what theoretical economists are likely to add, if and when they include this important question on their research agendas.

Keywords: Copyright, patent, software

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Watt, Richard, Patent and/or Copyright for Software: What Has Been Done So Far?. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 3-14, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995446

Richard Watt (Contact Author)

University of Canterbury - Economics and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 4800
Christchurch
New Zealand

The Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI) ( email )

Apartado de correos 1100
Palma de Mallorca, 08080
Spain

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