Chemical Engineering Software and Legal Protection Thereof

Document Type : Research Paper


Intellectual Property Department, Research Institute of Petroleum industry, Tehran, Iran


In recent years, an increasing number of Chemical Engineering Software (CES), which play an important role in improving efficiency in the petroleum industry, has been introduced to the                market. Generally, software is the product of intellectual creativity, but protection of the intellectual property residing in software is the subject of some controversy. 
This paper explores the legal protection of software products and its evolution over time. The approach of selected countries to software protection is reviewed in comparison with the                           Iranian legal regime in the same field. Important concepts that need to be considered in acquiring           effective protection of CES are presented. Software-related patent classifications were reviewed and US inventions relating to them were collected using a professional patent data base. Finally, the CES inventions in each classification were investigated in comparison to the total number of software patents. Consequently, the most referable classification for CES invention has been determined in this paper.  


1] Hlupic V., “Simulation software: users’ requirements”, Comput. Ind. Eng., Vol. 37, pp. 185-188, 1999.
[2] Braunschweig B., “Software Interoperability for petroleum application”, Oil Gas Sci. Technol., Vol. 60, No. 4, pp. 587-596, 2005.
[3] West J. & Gallagher S., Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, 1st Ed., Oxford University Press, 2006.
[4] Baseman K.C., Warren-Boulton F.R. & Woroch G.A, Economics of intellectual property protection for software: the proper role for copyright, http://elsa.berkeley.
edu/~woroch/softcopy.pdf,  8.8.2009.
[5] WIPO Database of Intellectual Property, Berne convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Article 7,, 10.8.2009.
[6] Story A., Intellectual Property and computer software, 1st Ed., International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), 2004.
[7] WIPO Database of Intellectual Property, Contracting parties of Berne convention,, 10.4.2010.
[8] TOYODA M., Practical Procedures for prosecutingsoftware patent, Japan Patent Office, Asia-Pacific Industrial Property Center, 1st Ed., 1999.
[9] Jacob R., Alexander D. & Lane L., A Guidebook to Intellectual Property: Patents, Trade Marks, Copyright and Designs, 5th Ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2003.
[10] Abraham S.E., Software patents in the United States: A balanced approach, Comput. Law Secur. Rev., Vol. 25, pp.554–562, 2009.
[11] EPO (European Patent Office), Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, 2009, 8. 8, 2009.
[12] Harison E., Owning technology: the structure of intellectual property, Druid tenth anniversary summer conference . Copenhagen, denmark, pp. 1-25, 2005.
[13] Sadeghi Neshat A., Software developer’s protection (in farsi), 1st Ed.  Planning organization publication, 1997.
[14] Kiat S.Y., Kim T. & Zhi H.K., Intellectual Property for Integrated Circuits, 1st Ed., J. Ross bublishing, 2009.
[15] Carmel E., Taxonomy of New Software Exportinf Nations, EJISDC, pp. 13,1-6, 2003.
[16] The Protection of Authors, Composers and Artists’ Rights act, 1970.
[17] Rezapour M., Bagheri S.K., Rashtchi M. & Bakhtiari M.R., “The Iranian patenting system: An introduction”, World Patent Information, Vol. 29, pp. 250–254, 2007.
[18] Bagheri S.K. & Azizi Moradpour H., “Rezapour M., The Iranian Patent Reform”, Journal of World Patent Information, Vol. 31, pp. 32-35, 2009.
[19] The Iranian Patent, Industrial Designs, Trademarks Act of 2008,, 1.10.2009.
[20] Mirhosseini S.H., Law of Patents (in Farsi), 1st Ed., Mizan Legal Foundation, 2008.
[21] The registration and protection of computer software Act of 2001.
[22] Iranian High Council of Informatics Publication, The regulation of the registration and protection of computer software Act of 2001,, 20.10. 2009
[23] Iranian High Council of Informatics Publication, The Guideline of Patent Committee 2001,, 20,10, 2009
[24] Liu S. & Shyu J., “Strategic planning for technology development with patent analysis”, Int. J. Technol. Manag., Vol. 13, pp. 661–680, 1997.
[25] Abraham B. & Morita S., “Innovation assessment through patent analysis”, Technovation, Vol. 21, pp. 245–252, 2001.
[26] Basberg B., “Patents and the measurement of technological change: a survey of the literature”, Res. Policy, Vol. 16, pp. 131-141, 1987.
[27] Questel Orbit Inc., Qpat® Ver. 7, www.qpat., 10.10.2009.
[28] Aspen Technology Inc.,, 10.10.2009.
[29] Mass high Tech Business news, Aspen Technology delisted from Nasdaq,, 10.4.2010.