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Someone suggested that 'copyright' is a means to protect an invention.
To do this a description, not unlike a patent write up, can be copyrighted protecting it from someone else to file a patent on the subject.

I have my doubts. Just publishing it would also prevent someone else to apply for a patent I would think which would cost next to nothing while the copyright people charge a high fee.

Please advise.

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Copyright Act of 1976 prevents the unauthorized copying of a work of authorship. However, only the copying of the work is prohibited--anyone may copy the ideas contained within a work.

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

It may interest you to know that a piece of code that has been written can be copyrighted but not the algorithm and other implementation details; whereas to protect the algorithm and other implementation detail you file for patent.

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Copyright is mostly irrelevant. Anything published that explains an invention will prevent anyone who files the next day from getting a patent - if the examiner sees it. Copyrighting does not mean it was necessarily published.

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