Streamlining the software development process through reuse and patents

Moens, Annelies (1999) Streamlining the software development process through reuse and patents. Journal of Law and Information Science, 10 1: 82-112.

Author Moens, Annelies
Title Streamlining the software development process through reuse and patents
Journal name Journal of Law and Information Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0729-1485
Publication date 1999
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 82
End page 112
Total pages 31
Editor Hugh Brett
Place of publication Hobart, TAS, Australia
Publisher University of Tasmania
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Subject C1
390114 Intellectual Property
750599 Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we want distributed Internet-based applications”[David Wood, President of the Australian Java Users Group]. Yet, to a large degree this is occurring in the software industry and is promoted by copyright law. As the on-line world expands, and platform-independent languages such as Java are created, there will be no need to reinvent applications for different machines and operating systems. Software reuse has innumerable benefits, yet software developers are still not embracing software reuse, especially small software developers. This paper examines why this is so, and analyses available legal regimes in terms of their suitability for promoting software reuse, including the appropriateness of trade secrets, shrinkwrap licences, copyright and patents. The paper concludes that the patent regime is most suited to the promotion of software reuse through the mass-marketing of reusable software components. Patent protection for software in Australia has followed the development of software patent law in the United States. The requirements for patenting software components in Australia will be addressed. The shift to reusing code through software components can already be seen by new applications and patents in the Patent Offices throughout the world. Software reuse is important to the development of a global software industry. Reuse of code will lead the way towards standards in the on-line world which are a by-product of a maturing discipline. The impact of patent protection of software components on competition in the software industry will also be addressed briefly. Strong intellectual property protection should be given to reusable software components which are necessary to achieve uniformity, standards, interoperability and convenience to the user.
© 1999 Annelies Moens
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Later reprinted as Moens, A. (2000). Streamlining the software development process through reuse and patents. European Intellectual Property Review 22(9), 418-28.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 11:33:04 EST