IP-Fälle und Artikel

Original work? Protecting graphical user interfaces

A graphical user interface (GUI) comprises visual elements through which a user interacts with software.

In this case, the GUI was for trading software (OptionNET Explorer) developed by Mr Mitchell (and owned by THJ Systems Limited), which showed risk and price charts for various options, including stock options. The GUI was developed in part using pre-existing component parts obtained from a third-party library to generate the desired appearance. The software, and therefore the GUI, was used by Mr Sheridan without authorisation.

Copyright may be applicable to GUIs as artistic works given their visual format. Artistic works are defined by Section 4 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which indicates that graphic works may be protectable subject matter “irrespective of artistic quality”, while Section 1 requires that the work must be “original”.

In the first instance, the owner of the copyright for a computer-generated work is the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken.

Patent-Newsletter Neueste Ausgabe
Patent-Newsletter Neueste Ausgabe