Author(s) Pedro Miguel Dias Venâncio
Advisor(s) Luís Couto Gonçalves and Maria Victória Rocha
Year 2014

Synopsis This thesis aims to study the “The Legal Protection of the Electronic File Format”, as that system of representation that determines the encoding that the IT systems use to write data to the persistent memory of a computer. The Electronic File Format (EFF) represents from a social, economic and technological perspective one of the core elements that sustains and conditions the growth of modern information society. The EFF is a core element of interoperability of Information Technology and Communication (ICT), feature elevated to a fundamental right of modern times. We emphasize, in this regard, the complex problems that modern society debates around the EFF and that occupy Governments and International Organizations. We delimited the EFF face the other elements of the physical (hardware) and logical (software) structures of the modern computer, defining it as element part of the logical structure of computer but a technical and intellectually autonomous creation. We make a panoramic approach to intellectual property rights on intellectual creations that constitute the various physical (input devices, output, memory and processing) and logical (languages, programs, databases, communication protocols, etc.) elements of the computer and we concluded that none of these rights covers in their object the protection of EFF. In established law, we conclude that the EFF is not recognized as a real intangible good, because we cannot integrate it as an autonomous object under protection of any intellectual property right. Finally, de iure constituendo, we propose the consecration of a new Industrial Property Right on the Electronic File Format (EFF), for which we advanced the essential notes that his legal regime should predict.

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