- Part I: Introduction
- Part II: Software
- Part III: Intellectual Property
- Part IV: Source Code Differentiation
- Part V: Source Code Correlation
- Part VI: Object and Source/Object Code Correlation
- Part VII: Source Code Cross-Correlation
- Part VIII: Detecting Software IP Theft and Infringement
- Part IX: Miscellaneous Topics
- Part X: Past, Present, and Future
Part III: Intellectual Property
In this Part I describe intellectual property, in particular copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. I have found that many of these concepts are unclear or only partially understood by many computer scientists, programmers, and corporate managers. In this Part I define these terms in ways that I believe will be comprehensible to those with little or no legal background.
I also define the field of software forensics in this part. When I am asked to work on a case, there is sometimes confusion about the fields of software forensics and digital forensics. In some cases, engineers practicing digital forensics claim to practice software forensics and sometimes use the tools of digital forensics to attempt to draw conclusions about software IP, yielding incorrect or inconclusive results. Software forensics requires the specialized tools of the field and expertise in the field to extract relevant information from the tools, reach appropriate conclusions, and opine on those conclusions. In this Part I offer definitions of the two fields. In fact, the definition of software forensics has, to this point, been somewhat vague. My explanation in this part will clarify the practice of software forensics, show how it fits into the field of forensic science, and differentiate it from digital forensics.