What legal protections are offered in relation to the creators of computer software?
Technology (second edition)
Computer software is protected under the Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights of 9 October 1992, as amended (COPA). Copyrights generally vest in the author (i.e., the natural person that created a copyrightable work). In contrast, commercial exploitation rights in software developed by an employee in the course of employment vest in the employer. The owner of such rights is entitled to solely decide as regards the adaptation, reproduction, distribution, communication, broadcasting and other ways to commercialize or dispose of the computer software. The Federal Act against Unfair Competition of 19 December 1986, as amended (UCA), protects marketable work results (such as computer software) against technical reproduction performed without commensurate effort by the reproducing party.
The Copyright Law and the Regulations on Computer Software Protection (2013) provide main protection for software creators. The copyright rights of software creators include the rights of publication, indicating authorship, alteration, reproduction, distribution, rental, communication through information network and translation. Software creators may transfer and/or license the software and receive remuneration. Under the patent law, software creators may patent the algorisms or other protectable subject matters of the software that he/she invents.