Press Release March 31, 2016

Goodwin Procter Releases Comprehensive Study on Protecting and Enforcing Software Innovation

Goodwin Procter, a national Am Law 50 and Global 50 firm, today announced the release of Protecting and Enforcing Software Innovation: Understanding The Evolving Software-Intellectual Property Landscape, a unique study analyzing the intersection of software and intellectual property.

Amidst an evolving technology and intellectual property landscape, the study provides an overview of novel developments affecting the availability and scope of patent, copyright and trade secret protection for software. The publication also serves as a tool for software developers, software users and technology companies, to understand the options and limits for protecting software and best practices for enforcing and defending software intellectual property.

“In the two years since Alice – a pivotal case with major implications for software IP – there have been myriad uncertainties around patent-eligibility of software-related inventions,” said Michael Strapp, partner in Goodwin Procter’s IP Litigation group and co-author of the study. “What makes this publication distinctive is its comprehensive overview of recent legal developments, and the guidance it includes for companies on how to leverage IP laws to protect the software they have created or acquired.”

The study is divided into six sections:

  • Forms of Software IP Protection – An overview of the options for protecting software, including benefits and drawbacks of protecting software through copyright, trade secret, and utility or design patents.
  • Utility Patents – Focuses on the eligibility of software for patent protection under the Supreme Court’s recent cases and new legal developments that underscore the importance of carefully drafting patent claims to protect software inventions. 
  • Design Patents – Describes the use of design patents to protect user interfaces especially in light of Apple v. Samsung.
  • Copyright and Trademark – Discusses issues concerning the use of these forms of protection in the context of key recent developments including Oracle v. Google.
  • Software Licensing – Focuses on emerging issues concerning licensing of software as software companies increasingly move to a Software as a Service deployment model.
  • Software Patent Litigation – Covers a host of issues that arise when litigating, either as a plaintiff or defendant, software-related intellectual property rights.

“Software is the lifeblood of all companies, and, in a larger sense, a key driving force of the U.S. economy,” added Strapp. “In the past few years there have been several critically important developments affecting the availability and scope of protection for software. Understanding how IP rights can encourage or stifle software innovation and technological change is essential for business.”

An executive summary and table of contents for Protecting and Enforcing Software Innovation: Understanding The Evolving Software-Intellectual Property Landscape can be accessed online, where a gratis copy of the guide can also be requested.

Goodwin’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice, named by Law360 as one of its “Practice Groups of the Year” for two consecutive years, has worked with clients to secure preliminary injunctions, declaratory and summary judgments, favorable results in Markman proceedings, advantageous settlements, victories at trial and appellate relief. Goodwin attorneys routinely work with clients to take cases from pre-suit investigations through discovery and trials. In addition, Goodwin successfully represents both patent owners and petitions at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.