What is an intellectual property?
Intellectual Property or IP is referred to set of rights which can guarantee exclusive rights to the creations of mind bounded by legal framework.
This is already framed as law in most of the countries which give exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets including musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. This is often executed as copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights. Now a days IP rights have gained lot of importance with the sudden evolution of Information Technology. In fact source code developers are very particular on the IP rights of a particular code ,which not only help them to remain as owner of the code but can also earn royalty in future by selling the same to different vendor.
However if there are IP rights what is going to happen?
It will give rise to undue piracy of the object. For example a source code has been developed by a particular developer who might be owning only a startup company ,now chances are there that his source codes will be bought by a larger company. Now before selling the source code or before handing over the source code he has two options, first one he can sell the source code with its rights, in this case obviously the deal price be much more since it will also include a fraction of the future royalty which the owner might have got if he would have retained the source code. Second option will be to share the code with the prospective buyer holding the rights back. In this case deal price will be less since owner will be entitled for royalty from the owner whenever the source code will be used.
Writing a software can be compared to owning a property. Now there could be two scenarios if you are an employee in a software company and you develop the software for the employee, then in this case by default employer becomes the owner. Since you are an employee, you are already legally bound to honor the commitments made to the employer. So in this case there is no way you can claim the ownership of the developed source code. In the second scenario you are freelancer, where as you write source code to develop software modules. Since in this case there is no legal contract or obligation with any other party, you are the sole owner of the software and have got complete set of rights to generate the patent for it. There would not be any violation as long your source code is not copied from any other developer, or it doesn’t violates the copyright of any other software.
With the boom in mobile technology there are lot of freelancers and small startup companies which are coming up with lot of apps. If it’s a freelancer, once the app is developed it will be sold to some big vendor since a small freelancer won’t have much resource to market his app. Now in this scenario while selling the app he should be very careful with the patent and copyright, which will make him lifelong owner.