International Protection of Computer Programs

April 1, 1975 Published Work
Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pages 205-219


The rapid growth of the computer industry in recent years is reflected in projected increases in the sales of computer programs.1 World-wide sales of computer programs are expected to triple during the next decade. In light of this rapid growth rate, there has been a significant increase in the need for the adequate protection of the proprietary interests associated with computer programs.

In a business setting, the need for programming protection arises out of the value that one firm's programs might have to other potential users. Traditionally, program proprietors have used trade secrecy protection as the primary means of protecting their interests in the programs.2 However, trade secrecy as a mode of protection is inadequate in the programming industry due to the unique proprietary problems associated with that industry.3 On the other hand, patent and copyright protection can provide the extensive coverage of the proprietary interests necessary to promote the further expansion of the programming field.4