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Abstract

The author argues that courts must take into account industry demands for interoperable computer products in determining the proper scope of protection enjoyed by computer software. Part II of the article discusses the technical aspects of a communications software system in the context of a hypothetical software developer. Part III of the article analyzes how compatibility concerns affect the determination of the proper scope of copyright and trade secret protection. Part IV of the article gives an overview of the anti-trust concerns in light of the current debate surrounding interoperability. The article concludes that economically adequate legal protection for communications software can still be achieved through a combination of copyright and trade secret protection.