Intellectual Property-Overview
Software piracy can occur in various forms namely soft lifting, hard disk loading, renting, OEM unbundling, online piracy and counterfeiting. In each type of piracy, there is an unauthorized and unwarranted use of material, which infringes the copyright rights of the owner of that material. Statistics show that around the world, the unlicensed software use on PC’s in about 43%, which corresponds to a commercial loss of $62.7 billion. In India, the percentage is 60 % - a commercial loss of $ 2.9 billion or INR 179 billion. While the computer software industry is booming in India and other developing countries, with software being an essential tool for production in most sectors, software piracy is counteracting the extent of the positive impact. Therefore, there is a need for properly licensed software installation.

At the macroeconomic level, research and studies show that the increase in the use of licensed software is directly proportional to positive increases in the GDP. This positive impact is the most in low-income countries, while it is substantial in middle and high-income countries. Contrarily, software piracy has hazardous repercussions on the economy, as it hinders IT innovation, job creation & employment, and results in immense tax losses to the government.

At the microeconomic level, software piracy by firms can be extremely dangerous to their enterprise. Software piracy increases the risk of hacking attacks and security threats for firms. It exposes firms’ to vulnerabilities like loss of personal & corporate data, data breaches and loss of proprietary information, and puts them under control of computer hackers. Software piracy also increases repair costs, and denies the users of product services like customer support, features and updates, depriving them to adopt contemporary market trends. Proper licensed software on the other hand contributes to overall higher operational efficiency and productivity. While the rate of unlicensed software use has reduced in the past few years, the rate of decline has been extremely low. This slow rate can be understood by reasons such as lack of information in firms on how to form and implement policies around IT assets, usage of pirated software for cost benefits, and unawareness about unlicensed use. Therefore, enterprises need to establish formal policies and regulations on licensed software installation, and implement fresh management systems to regulate and maintain accounts of license procurement.

Legal implication
There are various acts and statues such as the Intellectual Property Rights Act, which are concerned with offences relating to software piracy. The legal remedies and reliefs for copyright infringement or software piracy is imprisonment for illegal software users, heavy compensation to owners of the software material, and injunction from further functioning. Not only are those individuals and firms liable who knowingly use pirated software, but also those unaware of the unlicensed use, either innocently or negligently.

Services & Expertise
Our team will help improve and monitor your software license compliance needs by providing comprehensive strategic services such as:
  • Software audits
  • Attorney on call
  • Search and Seizure
  • Technology in use to identify misuse of IP
  • Prevent counterfeiting
  • Advice on protection against and prevention of piracy
  • Patents
  • Trademark
  • Copyright
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