JLI specializes in infringement analysis of these
materials, examining them for significant similarities at various
levels ranging from literal similarity (verbatim) to non-literal
similarity (where the copying is not verbatim, but is derivative
Computer programs are written in a human-readable textual form
called source code. This source code is translated or compiled into
a form that can be used to control the actions of a computer. This
translated form, also called object code or executable code, when
it is executed makes the computer behave in a particular way.
In order to save time, and that really is the only reason why one
programmer copies computer programs written by someone else, the
programmer might copy:
- The human readable source code. This is not normally made available
to the general public but some programmers, when they leave the
employ of one company have taken source code with them, or electronically
transmitted it outside the company.
- The manuals and other documentation which describes what the
software does and how it works.
- The "user interface" with which the user of the program
- The internal format of the data files - if this is copied it
is often to develop another program that will create "compatible"
data files, or process the first program's data files.
JLI's special skills lie in determining which similarities are
the products of constraint (and therefore can be exonerated) and
which are not (and therefore are indicia of copying).