Re: Re: Re: Re: Software IPR
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Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on August 27, 1999 at 04:42:19:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Software IPR posted by Rachel Dove on August 27, 1999 at 02:04:51:
: : : : Hi,
: : : : I work for a UK University. I implemented an algorithm which I published (with co-authors) in Conference Proceedings in Jan 1998. This work has not been patented. The actual implementation of this algorithm thus belongs to the University.
: : : : If I was to leave the University, re-implement the algorithm, from the published paper, probably in the same language, but quite differently structured, and without copying any of the code I did inside the University, am I risking any infringment?
: : : : I assume a third-party could do it without problem, but that the University might claim that I derived the work from existing work I'd done for them. I believe that I'd be simply re-expessing a published research idea. Am I right?
: : : : Kind Regards,
: : : : Rachel
: : : The first place to look is the contract with the University. Even if there is no written contact there may be bruised feelings. These are not part of the law but ought to be dealt with tactfully so and to avoid any venedetta that might even lead into th court. Once you are forced to law it is expensive. Basically it seems that what you propose is reasonable and free of risk it you use the ideas and create new code. The publication as I understand the UK law, before filing a patent application, invalidates any patent right in most countries with the exception of the US. Ideas are not coverd by copyrights, thus it is my belief that if you whole create a work based on an idea, there is no copyright infringment. If the essence of the idea is patented then there could be a problem. The prior publication may have effectively destroyed basic patent rights in the UK. Conceivably there may be patentable aspects of the implimenation of the algorithm. To protect them you must neither use nor divulge them, except under written confidentiality. You should be safe talking to a lawyer for advice.
: : : M. Arthur Auslander
: : : ELAINE's Workshop: Early Legal Advice Is Not Expensive (sm)
: : : Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
: : : 505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
: : : 212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028, firstname.lastname@example.org
: : Thanks for your informative answer. A followup question, not directly concerning the above, about joint copyrights. I am joint holder of several copyrights. Do I have the right to exploit the methods in the copyrights without the consent of the one or more of the other holders....?
: : Kind Regards,
: : Rachel
: Apologies, by 'Copyright' I should have said 'Patent'...it's all too much!!
Just because our legal systems have started from the same source does not means they are the same. I go crazy reading British statute. It's in English but it is hard to fathom the underlying significance of the law.
Without rechecking the US law, my recollection is that, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, probably in writing, joint owner have full free access to so what they please with a patent.
M. Arthur Auslander
ELAINE's Workshop: Early Legal Advice Is Not Expensive (sm)
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028, email@example.com
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