Will our partner steal our solutions ? – Comments by Dorota Bryndal
From the perspective of an IT company whose operations are focused on software creation and development, the results of such efforts account for their greatest asset, determining their position in the market. Business experience as well as plain common sense would suggest that such companies ought to guard these intangible assets closely; accordingly, software is protected against unauthorised access by third parties, and legal protection arises on an ipso lege basis, with its institution not requiring any additional actions – there is no need to register, to evaluate novelty, or indeed to perform any of the actions associated with copyright annotation on works.
In my opinion, software should also be “protected” against hasty decisions taken due to business considerations, for example while striving to enter new markets. The effects of such decisions may prove to be irreversible – rights can be divested only once. For this reason, it is very important that persons making business decisions impacting upon commercial use of software are aware of these decisions’ implications as regards copyright in the software. The Hexa Mobile solution, also referred to as a GEMD engine, is classified by the copyright laws among works designated as “computer programmes”, which are comprised of source code, i.e. a human-readable string of instructions and declarations describing the operations which the computer should perform using a finite number of strictly defined commands. This programme is protected by copyright law. If the software in question was created by employees of Hexa Mobile, then financial copyright in this solution extends to Hexa Mobile, with the result that the Polish company is the only entity entitled to use the software and to dispose of the attendant rights.