Edward W. Rilee


During the last decade a number of attempts have been made by the courts in the realm of patent and copyright law to settle the issue of the protection of property rights in computer software. These traditional methods of protection, however, have not been able to assimilate this relatively new technological invention. Likewise, at the start of a new decade, little or no progress towards a comprehensive form of software protection can be detected. This paper will examine the problems associated with using federal patent or copyright law to provide computer software protection and discuss why state trade secret protection has remained the primary guarantee against infringement of property rights in computer software.