We Understand the Copyright Law

Copyright protection attaches to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” (17 U.S.C.A. § 102). 

Copyright for computer programs prohibits not only literal copying, but also copying of “nonliteral elements”, such as program’s structure, sequence and organization. These non-literal aspects, however, can be protected only “to the extent that they incorporate authorship in programmer’s expression of original ideas, as distinguished from the ideas themselves.” (Computer Assocs. Int’l v. Altai, Inc., 982 F.2d 693, 2d Cir. 1992) In Computer Associates vs Altai, the Second Circuit proposed the Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison test for identifying these protected elements. This test attempts to distinguish copyrightable aspects of a program from the purely utilitarian and the public domain.

Services We Provide

  • Identification of registered copyright
  • Review of registered copyright and deposits
  • Determination of overlap between registered copyright and later releases of a product
  • Determination of originality of source code
  • Determination of any potential reverse-engineering activities
  • Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison analysis
  • Identification of any potential open-source software licenses
  • Identification of both literal and non-literal copying
  • Appropriation of value and benefits associated with the copyright
  • Expert report preparation
  • Deposition testimony
  • Trial testimony

Selected Prior Engagements

HEALTHeSTATE LLC v. The United States, ASM Research 
Jurisdiction: The United States Court of Federal Claims
Case No.: 18-034
Counsel: United States Department of Justice 

Miants, LLC, et al. v. Kevin Lasser, et al.
Jurisdiction: State of Michigan, Oakland County Circuit Court
Case No: 2013-133695-CK
Counsel: Mantese, Honigman, Rossman & Williamson, P.C.