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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11753
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Can copyright be secure on a new asphalt mix design method

Resolved Question:

Can copyright be secure on a new asphalt mix design method??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Copyright covers works which are literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, including technical drawings etc. it does not cover a process. Similarly patent protection covers an invention capable of being used in some kind of industry but not a scientific theory or method.

From what you say, what you have is a trade secret rather than anything that could be protected under intellectual property law, like for example, the recipe for Coca Cola or Irn Bru.

So whilst the plans drawn up for the design method are copyright the author or employer automatically that would not necessarily protect the method itself, therefore the main priority should be keeping the trade secret a secret. That is a practical process rather than a legal one.

However, given that patent protection can cover the invention of a process you may be able to apply for a patent depending on exactly what your process is and you may want to see a patent attorney about this. Unlike copyright, which is automatic, a patent has to be applied for and can cost several thousands of pounds including registration fees. A patent can also be registered in the UK, in Europe or worldwide.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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