Copyright should not be thought of as an alternative to patent protection. If something is capable of being protected by a patent then it should be protected with a patent application because this will provide vastly stronger rights to prevent copying of the fundamental idea. Copyright will only prevent actual copying of e.g. the literature surrounding the idea and, in some instances, the appearance of the product. It cannot protect the general concept. In other words, if you try to rely on copyright to protect an idea it will, in most cases, be very easy for someone to copy the idea without infringing any of your rights.
Since copyright exists automatically, it is effectively free to obtain and exists as soon as the work is created; however, if you intend to rely on copyright in any important aspect of your business you should make sure you understand what is, and what is not, protected by copyright and have a clear understanding of ownership etc. Contact us to see how we can help.
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