I was reading around the web and found an interesting idea for an online software that I would like to publish commercially. My question is if the software is based off of research such as https://arxiv.org/pdf/1409.3215.pdf (just an example) am I able to develop and sell it commercially? Are their legal complications?


The ideas and facts revealed in that (or any other) published article are not protected by copyright. A publication might report a patentable claim, so you have to check with the patent office to see if a thing or method described in an article has been patented. Timing matters on publishing and patenting: you can't receive a patent for something that's "out there" (because you described it in an earlier publication).

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  • I'm new at law but do I need a patent to sell this software? – Noah Chalifour Jul 25 '17 at 15:38
  • You never need a patent to sell software. Software is always protected by copyright, which prevents others from selling a copy based on one they got from you. You would need to consult a patent attorney to determine if the software was patentable. – user6726 Jul 25 '17 at 15:43
  • Is there a way to determine if the software has already been patented online? – Noah Chalifour Jul 25 '17 at 16:02
  • For the US, patft.uspto.gov – user6726 Jul 25 '17 at 16:10
  • Do you know for Canada? – Noah Chalifour Jul 25 '17 at 16:14

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