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Information Technology LawThe Law and Society

Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (5th edn)

Andrew Murray
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date: 13 April 2024

p. 2219. Softwarelocked

p. 2219. Softwarelocked

  • Andrew Murray


This chapter examines whether software should be protected by patent law or by the law of copyright, or through a sui generis form of protection. It first provides a historical background on software and copyright protection, before discussing the scope of software copyright protection and copyright infringement. The chapter then looks at several forms of copyright infringement such as offline, online, and employee piracy, and also explains the look and feel infringement by citing three cases: Navitaire v easyJet, Nova Productions v Mazooma Games, and SAS Institute v World Programming Ltd. In addition, it considers permissible acts under the UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 without infringing the rights of the copyright holder. Finally, the chapter analyses cases relating to patent protection for computer software, including software patents under the European Patent Convention and the decision in Aerotel v Telco & Macrossan.

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