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Don’t Be Victimized by Competitors, Ex-Employees, and Customers:

February 18, 2021 by in Hot Issues

5 Reasons Why You Should Copyright Your Software NOW.

By Mitchell C. Shelowitz[1]

  1. Look at the Leaders. If global technology leaders such as Oracle, Apple, Cellebrite, Orcam, and Sarine register their valuable software for protection with the U.S. Copyright Office, why don’t you? What are you waiting for?[2]
  2. Copyrights, Not Patents, Protected Oracle from Google. In Oracle’s epic battle against Google for Google’s unauthorized use of java API’s to build the Android operating system — now in its 10th year[3] – Oracle’s patents were useless and patent infringement claims were dismissed early in the case.  Instead, it is the awesome power of Oracle’s software copyrights that have provided Oracle with the ammunition to fight Google. Forget about patents for software.[4]  In the battle between patents and copyrights for software, copyrights win.[5] 
  3. There is No Time to Wait. Because software is so easy to copy, theft is rampant.  For those who have access to your source code, the risks are very high.  For those who can reverse engineer your compiled code, the risks are just as high.  Even without access to source code or compiled code, the copying of your user interface (UI) is extremely easy and the risks are also very high.  You must first register your software for copyright protection with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to go after infringers.[6]  You should register without delay to ensure that you have the tools to pursue bad actors immediately when bad things happen.
  4. No Other Realistic Alternative to Copyrights. If your competitors, former employees and contractors, or others copy your software to sell as their own – what will you do? What legal tools does your company have to fight back? What if your customers stop paying your license or maintenance fees, yet continue using your software? Realistically, trying to enforce breaches of NDA’s, EULA’s, Terms of Use/Service, and other licenses are unlikely to get you any immediate relief.  However, breaches of these agreements coupled with one or more registered Software Copyrights are a game changer – and any such contract breaches will also trigger enforcement remedies under the U.S. Copyright Act – as copyright infringement.
  5. You Are Entitled to Damages Without Proving any Loss.  Even if a beta, trial, or freemium versions of your software are infringed, you are entitled to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per copyright without proof of loss (or actual damages), as well as reimbursement of your attorneys’ fees. You are also entitled to injunctive relief, seizure of goods containing infringing software, and blocking entry into the U.S. of infringing goods produced overseas.[7]

Here are five reasons to pursue software copyright registration without delay.  In the event that a competitor, former employee or contractor, or even a customer, infringe your software, you need to be ready to act decisively.  Act today in order to ensure that your company is protected.

SLG has extensive experience representing U.S. and international clients on U.S. Software Copyright matters, including counseling, registration, enforcement, and litigation.  Schedule a complimentary consultation with SLG by contacting us at  For further information about Software Copyright protection, please see our informative 1 minute video and additional information here.


[1] Mitchell C. Shelowitz is the Managing Partner of Shelowitz Law Group.  In more than twenty (20) years of representing global technology companies, Mr. Shelowitz believes that ”there is no better tool to protect software than U.S. Copyrights.”

[2]  See Check Out The Top Global Companies That Copyright Their Software: What Are You Waiting For?       

[3]   Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, 2016 WL 5393938 (Sept. 27, 2016); reversed, 886 F.3d 1179 (Fed. Cir. 2018); cert. granted, Google LLC v. Oracle Am., Inc., 140 S. Ct. 520 (2019).

[4]  In this author’s opinion.

[5]  See Patents v. Copyrights for Software: Tale of the Tape 

[6]  See Copyright Registration Condition to Suit

[7]  See 17 U.S.C. § 504 (Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits); 17 U.S.C § 503 ( Remedies for infringement: Impounding and disposition of infringing articles); 17 U.S.C. § 502 (Remedies for infringement: Injunctions); 17 U.S.C. § 505 (Remedies for infringement: Costs and attorney’s fees).

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