How to File a Copyright Application for Software

The foremost matter to do is arrange a deposit. This can be in whichever of differing document forms listed on copyright(dot)gov and can be formulated using a word processing program.

With recent computer programs, you have differing alternatives for the deposit. These are:

  1. The original 25 and remaining 25 pages of Source Code with parcels containing trade secrets blocked out;
  2. The original 10 and remaining 10 pages of Source code along with no blocked out parcels;
  3. The original 25 and remaining 25 pages of object code plus any 10 or more consecutive pages of source code, with no blocked out parcels; or
  4. For programs 50 pages or less in length, entire source code with trade secret parcels blocked out.

Whichever alternative shows the smallest quantity of trade secret code should be employed. The deposit will be within reach to competitors. Concurrently, you will want to be able to verify copying.

An independent application should be filed for each novel version of the software.

Subsequent to readiness of the deposit, the balance of the application is no trouble to fill in online. You will be questioned if the software was a work made for hire and you will want to contemplate that question previous to starting the application. If you paid someone to conceive the software for you, that does not as a matter of course attest that it is a work made for hire. You may still possess the software due to an assignment or contract not including it being a “work made for hire.” Usually speaking, if you are an employer and an employee wrote the program, it is doubtless a work made for hire. If you employed an independent contractor, it doubtless is not a work made for hire. Assess and contemplate Circular 9 from to answer the question of whether the software is a work made for hire.

According to copyright law, ownership of the copyright unusually belongs with the originator. If you commission independent contractors to write software programs for you, it is of great consequence to have a contract in place assigning title to you. If you don’t control such a contract, you may ascertain that you only possess one version of the software.

Please furthermore evaluate my composition on whether to have confidence on copyright law or patent law to safeguard software. Patent law accommodates much sturdier protection. In a different sense, copyright registrations are economical and should continually be employed regardless of financial plans.

A copyright application can simply be filed online at by understanding the information online for form CO.