Mobile application or software or the computer program can be protected by copyright law and patent law.
Under copyright law, software or the computer program is usually regarded as a "literary work". The unique characteristic of computer programs that differentiate them from other literary works is their dynamic essence, which usually includes algorithms or mathematical formulae's or logical condition etc, which manipulate symbols producing certain virtual or physical effects,etc. Copyright law provides protection to the software or the computer program´s expression and not the functional aspects of the software. Hence, computer programs differ from other copyright-able subject matter, in the sense that the text is not the most important aspect; rather the importance lies in the functions established by the program code.
Patent: Patent is becoming the method of protection for computer program's, software or mobile application. A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which comprises a product or process. The invention must be novel or confers a new solution to a technical problem. Further, the Invention is a solution to a technical problem in the field of technology. An invention may relate to a product or a process.
The patent office have been granting patents to computer implemented inventions or software related inventions based on the technical solution provided to the technical problem, known as the technical character. So one of the keys for successfully having a patent granted for software innovation lies in the ability to present the software innovation in such a way that it includes technical character.
Further, software protected under the patents act should satisfy the patentability criteria.In order to meet patent-ability criteria, the software or the computer program executed on a computer processor must be novel or confers a new solution to a technical problem, and non- obvious to one of "ordinary skill" in the field of invention.
One more important point that needs to be noted is 'enablement'. The patent office expects the patent to disclose information about the invention for which patent protection is sought, to an extent that a person with ordinary skill in the technology, to which the proposed invention relates, can use the provided information to make and use the proposed invention.
If a computer program or software protected under copyright law protects an original work in the tangible fixed form in which it has been set down, whereas a computer program or software protected under the patent law protects the creation of inventive concepts as well as their practice.
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