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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   What's My First Step....?
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   Author  Topic: What's My First Step....?  (Read 1545 times)
Tony
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Re: What's My First Step....?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 14th, 2005, 12:31pm »
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If you outsource the programming make sure you get a non-disclosure agreement signed, preventing the developer from leaking your idea or stealing it.  You would also want to make it clear that you own all rights to the work and are just hiring the developer(s) as a "Work made for hire".  
 
Then after your software is complete you would want to Copyright your software.  You can go through a lawyer, or there are some places online that do it, or buy software to do it -  there is a product called Essential Copyright that enables you to copyright all of your works (software) for like $50 - it has a wizard that walks you through the application process www.esoftwareinc.com
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Isaac
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Re: What's My First Step....?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 14th, 2005, 4:28pm »
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I'd be careful with "work for hire" when software is involved.
Software does not seem to fit in the category of works that
can be works for hire when the programmer is not an employee.
Its best to back up a "work for hire" provision in such a
contract with an agreement that the copyright will be assigned to the
buyer if it turns out that the law won't allow it to be a
work for hire.
 
Also it's important to note that an NDA won't preserve
patent rights from 102(b) if someone does leak the rights
or appropriate the invention in violation of the NDA.
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Isaac
JSonnabend
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Re: What's My First Step....?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 17th, 2005, 8:43am »
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on Jan 14th, 2005, 4:28pm, Isaac Clark wrote:
Software does not seem to fit in  the category of works that can be works for hire when the programmer is not an employee.

That's the first time I've heard that one.  Any particular case law you've got in mind?
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
Isaac
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Re: What's My First Step....?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 17th, 2005, 6:17pm »
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No case law that I can cite.  But the statute does have an
enumeration of the types of works that can be works for hire
and it seems to me that in the general case it would be
difficult to characterize software as one of the enumerated
types.  The list applies to non employee created works.
 
As evidence that the enumerated list should be taken seriously
I would point to the huge flap created when some unknown
party snuck in some legislation that added musical works to
the list which would have allowed typical industry contracted
works to be works for hire.  That provision has since been
removed, but there is case law suggesting that without that
provision, even contract terms designating those works as
works for hire are ineffective.
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Isaac
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