Software, which is essential to the functioning of all IT tools, is used daily by millions of people, all over the world. It represents an economic stake and as such, it is subject to specific protection by French copyright law. Whether you are a creator or an operator of software, essential questions arise: how is software protected? Who owns the rights to software created by an employee, an intern, or a freelancer? How do you transfer the exploitation rights of a software? What should be done if a third party copies a software and commits acts of infringement? Arénaire Avocats provides clear, precise, and practical answers to all these questions. Experienced in software law, our lawyers can assist you with legal counsel, contracts, and litigation.

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Arénaire Avocats: your legal counsel in software law

In France, software benefits from a special copyright protection regime. It is important to specify that the software algorithm itself is not protected. On the other hand, copyright protection applies to the following elements, if they are original:

  • The graphical interface
  • The title of the software
  • The user’s manual
  • The program including the source code
  • The object code and executable file
  • The preparatory design material

In France, the author of original software benefits from copyright as soon as it is created, without any filing formalities. However, in order to benefit from optimal protection, you must be able to prove the existence of the rights.

Our lawyers provide legal counsel on how to assess the originality of software and its eligibility for French copyright protection. We assist you in securing proof of the authorship and date of creation of your software. We also intervene to preserve the ownership of rights when the software was created by an employee, an intern, or a freelancer.

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Arénaire Avocats: your partner for your software exploitation agreements

Our lawyers assist you in all phases of the exploitation of your software. We negotiate and draft the transfer of rights agreements, in particular software assignments, software licences, software maintenance contracts, authorisations to use, copy or modify software.

We carry out audits of your software-related contracts: clauses in employment contracts, development contracts, agreements for the transfer or licence of rights, contribution agreements, etc. We analyse the contractual protections and mechanisms in place. We identify possible loopholes and propose corrective measures to guarantee the protection of your rights.

Arénaire Avocats: your software litigation lawyer

Unauthorised copying of software constitutes an act of infringement. This fraudulent act is often accompanied by acts of unfair competition and parasitism.

With our long experience in intellectual property litigation, we advise and represent you in all phases of your software litigation, both as plaintiff and defendant:

  • Safeguarding evidence of software infringement and/or unfair acts (bailiff’s report, seizure, pre-trial investigation under Article 145 of the French Code of Civil Procedure).
  • Pre-litigation phase: cease and desist letters, negotiations, amicable settlement.
  • In the event of imminent risks or perils, implementation of emergency legal proceedings, such as summary proceedings or proceedings in short order.
  • Software infringement proceedings and representation before the competent court.
  • Representation and assistance in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration.
  • Follow-up of legal proceedings until the enforcement of decisions: prohibition measures, restitution, damages.

Contact our team

Arénaire law firm is at the service of companies and designers based in Paris, in the Ile de France region, but also throughout France and abroad.

Our business: providing solutions to our clients’ problems

Do you need legal counsel on software law? Do you want to protect your software, transfer it, and secure your rights? Are you a victim of software infringement or are you being sued in court? Contact us, we will discuss your issues and needs and discuss the solutions we can provide.

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