12 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007
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: 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