IP rights offer a considerable amount of protection for software. The rights subsisting in software will generally be owned (or licensed, with permission for sub-licensing) by a software developer, publisher, or similar organisation.
Generally speaking, software – and especially off-the-shelf software – will be licensed to customers rather than assigned. Indeed, even software that is developed specifically and exclusively for a particular customer may be licensed rather than assigned, with the developer retaining ownership.
This section looks at software licensing and explains the purpose and key elements of a software licence.