6 June, 2024

How to register a copyright for a computer program in Ukraine?

5 minutes

In today’s world, where technology is developing at an incredible pace and information has become the most valuable resource, the protection of intellectual property is of particular relevance. One of the key aspects of this sphere is copyright, which guarantees the creators of software, literary works, music and other intellectual property exclusive rights to use and dispose of their creations. Registering copyright for a computer program in Ukraine is an important step to protect your intellectual product and ensure its commercial success.

Section 1: What is a copyright for a computer program?

In the world of information technology, where software is an integral part of virtually every aspect of our lives, the issue of its legal protection is of particular importance. Copyright in a computer program is a set of legal rules that govern the relations related to the creation and use of software and guarantee its authors a number of exclusive rights. What exactly is considered a computer program from the point of view of copyright, what elements of software are protected, and what are the benefits of registration? The answers to these questions are key to understanding the importance of protecting your intellectual product.

1.1. Definition of the concept: What is considered a computer program in terms of copyright, what elements of software are protected?

A computer program is a copyrighted work that is a set of instructions in the form of words, numbers, codes, diagrams, symbols, or any other form, expressed in a form that is readable by a computer, which cause it to operate to produce a certain result. It is important to understand that not only the program code is subject to protection, but also other elements that make up the software.

Protected elements of a computer program:

  • Source Code is the text of a program written in a programming language that is understandable to a programmer.
  • Object Code is the result of compiling the source code, which is machine code that is understandable to a computer.
  • Databases used by the program are organized data structures that are used by the program to operate.
  • Audiovisual elements are graphic images, animations, videos, music that are part of the program interface.
  • Textual materials are documentation, instructions, and program descriptions.

Important: Copyright to a computer program arises automatically from the moment it is created and does not require mandatory registration. However, copyright registration provides the developer with a number of advantages, which we will discuss below.

Computer programs are not considered copyrighted works:

  • Ideas, methods, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, even if they are expressed, described, explained, illustrated or embodied in a computer program.
  • Mathematical formulas and algorithms by themselves.
  • User interfaces (GUI), if they are not original and do not meet the criteria of creativity.

In order for a computer program to be protected by copyright, it must be original, i.e., the result of the author’s own creative work. Knowing what exactly is protected by copyright will help you protect your rights to the software you have developed and avoid possible infringement by others.

1.2. Advantages of registration: Why it is important to officially register the copyright of the developed software.

Although, as we have already mentioned, copyright in software in Ukraine arises automatically from the moment of its creation, official registration provides developers with a number of important advantages:

  • Official confirmation of authorship. The copyright certificate is an official document that confirms your authorship of the software and the date of its creation. This is especially important in case of disputes over authorship.
  • Strengthening your position in court. In the event of a violation of your rights, a copyright registration certificate greatly simplifies the process of protecting your interests in court. You do not have to additionally prove the fact that you created the software and the date of its creation.
  • Facilitating commercialisation. Registered software inspires more trust among potential investors, partners and customers. They will be confident that you are the rightful owner of the rights to the software product and that they will not have any problems using it.
  • The ability to claim compensation. In the event of copyright infringement, you have the right to claim compensation from the infringer for the damages caused. A certificate greatly simplifies the process of proving the amount of damage caused.
  • International protection. Ukraine is a party to a number of international copyright treaties, which provides registered objects with certain protection in other countries.

Copyright registration for a computer program – is a strategic decision that demonstrates your responsibility and foresight. It provides you with additional tools to protect your intellectual property and expand your commercialisation opportunities.

The procedure for registering copyright in software in Ukraine is quite simple and does not require large financial outlays. By contacting qualified lawyers, you can quickly and easily register the copyright to your computer program.

Section 2: The copyright registration process

So, you have realized the importance of protecting your copyrights to the software you have developed and have decided to officially register your product. What steps do you need to take to obtain a copyright certificate and ensure that you enjoy all the benefits of being a copyright holder? This section will help you understand the algorithm for registering copyright in a computer program in Ukraine and provide you with a list of required documents.

2.1. Required documents: What documents should be prepared to apply for software copyright registration

The copyright registration process begins with the preparation of a set of required documents. Clear and correct documentation will significantly speed up the process of reviewing your application.

Here is the list of documents you will need:

  • Application for copyright registration for a work. The application must contain information about the author(s), the name of the program, the date of creation, the scope, and other important information.
  • A document that identifies the author(s). This may be a passport of a citizen of Ukraine, a foreign passport, a residence permit, etc.
  • Document on payment of the state fee for copyright registration.
  • Materials identifying the work. In the case of a computer program, such materials may include:
    • The source code of the program or a part of it recorded on an electronic storage medium (CD/DVD, flash drive). It is important that the amount of code provided is sufficient to identify the program and confirm your authorship.
    • A description of the program that contains information about its functionality, purpose, operation algorithms and other important aspects. The description should be in any form and in Ukrainian.
    • Screenshots of the program interface that demonstrate its appearance and basic controls.
  • Power of attorney (in case of submission of documents by the author’s representative). The power of attorney must be notarized and authorize the representative to submit and receive documents on behalf of the author.

All documents submitted for copyright registration must be in Ukrainian or have a notarized translation into Ukrainian.

Collecting and preparing the necessary documents may take some time, so we recommend starting this process in advance. If you have any questions regarding the preparation of documents, please contact the lawyers of Polikarpov Law Firm. We will be happy to provide you with qualified assistance at any stage of copyright registration for your computer program.

2.2. Stages of registration: Step-by-step description of the process of copyright registration for a computer program in Ukraine

Copyright registration for a computer program in Ukraine is carried out by the Ukrainian National Intellectual Property Office (UNIPO). The registration procedure is not complicated, especially if you turn to experienced lawyers who will guide you through all the stages.

Here is a step-by-step description of the registration process:


  1. Preliminary check (optional). Before submitting an application, it is recommended to conduct a preliminary check for similar registered programs. This will help you avoid wasting time and money if your program is not original.
  2. Preparation of the required documents.14 Gather and prepare all the documents listed in the previous paragraph.
  3. Submitting the application and documents to the Ukrainian National Intellectual Property Office. The application can be submitted in person, through an authorized representative or by mail. It is important to keep copies of all submitted documents and payment receipts.
  4. Formal examination of the application. The examiners of UKRNOVI check the correctness of the application and the availability of all necessary documents. The term of formal examination is up to 2 months.
  5. Qualification examination (optional). This stage is carried out at the request of the applicant or by the decision of UIPI. During the qualification examination, an in-depth analysis of the program is carried out to determine whether it meets the criteria of the copyrighted work. The term of the qualification examination can be from 6 to 12 months.
  6. Registration of copyright and issuance of a certificate. If the examination is successful, UIPI makes a record of copyright registration for the program in the State Register of Copyright and Related Rights and issues a certificate of copyright registration to the applicant. The term for issuing the certificate is about 1 month.

Important: At all stages of registration, you may have additional questions or need to clarify information. Therefore, we recommend that you do not postpone the protection of your software for later and seek the help of professional lawyers today. Polikarpov Law Firm has extensive experience in the field of intellectual property and provides a full range of services for registering copyright in computer programs in Ukraine. We will help you protect your rights and avoid possible problems in the future. Our lawyers work throughout Ukraine, including cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa and Dnipro.

Section 3: Protecting your rights

Obtaining a certificate of copyright registration for a computer program is an important step, but it is not the final point on the way to protecting your intellectual product. What should you do if your copyright has been infringed? What other ways can you protect your software besides registration? In this section, we will consider the options for protecting your rights and liability for software copyright infringement.

3.1 Protection options: What are the ways to protect software copyright besides registration?

In addition to copyright registration, there are a number of additional measures that can help you protect your software from illegal use:

  • Technical protections:
    • Use of license agreements (EULAs): Be sure to include a license agreement with your program that clearly states the terms and conditions for using, copying, and distributing your software.
    • Copy protection: use special software or hardware to prevent unauthorized copying of your program.
    • Code obfuscation: is the process of changing the source code of a program to make it more difficult to analyze and understand for unauthorized persons.
    • Use of electronic watermarks: embed unique, inconspicuous marks in your program code or program files that help identify your authorship if necessary.
  • Organizational measures:
    • Confidentiality: restrict access to your application’s source code. Provide it only to those developers and employees who really need it.
    • Non-disclosure: Sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with anyone who has access to your confidential information, including the source code.
    • Escrow: Consider depositing your app’s source code with a trusted third party. This will help prove the date of creation of the program and your authorship in case of disputes.
  • Legal means:
    • Trademark registration: register your program name as a trademark. This will help you protect your right to use the name and prevent others from using it for similar programs.
    • Market monitoring: regularly check the market for pirated copies or programs containing elements of your software. If violations are detected, contact a lawyer to protect your rights.

A comprehensive approach to software copyright protection is the most effective. By combining technical, organizational and legal measures, you can minimize the risks of infringement of your rights and ensure the safety of your intellectual product. The lawyers of Polikarpov Law Firm have extensive experience in the field of intellectual property protection, in particular in the field of IT law, and are ready to provide you with qualified assistance on all issues related to the protection of your software.

3.2. Liability for infringement: What are the liabilities for software copyright infringement?

Ukrainian legislation provides for civil, administrative and criminal liability for software copyright infringement.

Civil liability may take the form of:

  • Compensation for damages caused to the copyright owner as a result of infringement of his rights. The amount of damages is determined based on the cost of the license to use the software or the amount of income that the infringer received as a result of the illegal use of the program.
  • Payment of compensation, the amount of which is determined depending on the nature of the violation and ranges from 10 to 50 thousand minimum wages.
  • Seizure of counterfeit copies of software.

Administrative liability for software copyright infringement involves the imposition of fines on individuals and officials.

Criminal liability arises in the event of illegal use of copyrighted works if committed on a large scale or by prior conspiracy by a group of persons, which entails a fine, correctional labor, or imprisonment for up to 6 years.

Proving copyright infringement is a complex process that requires knowledge of the law and practical experience. Therefore, if you suspect that your rights have been infringed, we strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of qualified lawyers. Polikarpov Law Firm has successful experience in protecting intellectual property rights, including in the field of IT law. We will help you collect the necessary evidence, prepare a statement of claim and protect your interests in court. Contact us and we will do our best to restore your violated rights and bring the perpetrators to justice.


Copyright registration for a computer program is a necessary step for every developer who wants to protect their intellectual product and exercise their rights to it. Although the registration process may seem complicated, by contacting Polikarpov Law Firm, you will receive comprehensive support at all stages – from consultation to obtaining a certificate. Protect your intellectual property rights today, because your program code is your intellectual property that needs reliable protection!

Is it mandatory to register a copyright for a computer programme in Ukraine? What do I lose if I do not register my copyright

In Ukraine, copyright in a computer programme arises automatically from the moment it is created. This means that you do not need to go through any bureaucratic procedures to become the legal owner of the copyright to your code.

However, the lack of official registration significantly weakens your position, especially in case of disputes..

This is what you lose by not registering copyright:

  • Indisputable evidence:A copyright registration certificate is an official document that confirms your authorship and the date of creation of the software. This simplifies the process of protecting your rights in court, as you do not have to additionally prove that you created the software.
  • Strong position in court:A certificate of registration significantly increases your chances of success in court in case of copyright infringement. This is especially important if you are faced with an unfair competitor or pirated distribution of your software.
  • Simplified procedure for collecting compensation:If your rights have been violated, you are entitled to compensation. Having a certificate of registration simplifies the process of assessing damages and recovering compensation from the offender.
  • Increase confidence in your product:Investors, partners and potential customers have more confidence in software that has been officially registered. This shows that you are serious about business and intellectual property protection.

In short, although it is not mandatory to register a copyright for a computer program in Ukraine, it provides you with a number of important benefits and is a strategic step for any developer seeking to protect their product and ensure its commercial success.

What elements of a computer programme are protected by copyright? Is it possible to register the idea of a program, but not the code itself

Copyright in a computer program covers not only the program code itself, but also other elements that are the result of your creative work and reflect the originality of your software.

Protected elements:

  • Source Code:The text of a program written in a programming language that is understandable to a programmer.
  • Object Code:The result of compiling source code, that is, machine code that can be executed by a computer.
  • Databases:Organised data structures that you create specifically for your application.
  • Audiovisual elements:Graphics, animations, videos, music that are part of the application interface and are your original works.
  • Textual materials:Documentation, instructions, programme description, if they contain elements of originality.

What is NOT protected:

It is important to understand that copyright protects only the form of expression of an idea, not the idea itself.

They are not considered to be copyrighted:

  • Ideas, methods, processes, concepts, principles:Even if they are expressed, described or illustrated in a computer program, copying them is not an infringement unless the code itself is copied.
  • Mathematical formulas and algorithms:They are not copyrighted by themselves.
  • Standard user interface (GUI) elements:Elements that have become commonplace and do not have an original design are not protected.

Therefore, you cannot register a copyright for the idea of an app. However, your code, design, audiovisual elements, and other original elements are protected from the moment you create the app. Registering a copyright will help you prove your authorship and date of creation, making it much easier to enforce your rights if necessary.

How much does it cost to register a copyright for a computer program in Ukraine and how long does it take

The cost and terms of copyright registration for a computer program in Ukraine depend on several factors, such as

  • Number of authors: The registration fee is paid for each author separately.
  • Timeframe for application review: You can choose a standard review period or use the expedited review service, which, of course, will cost more.
  • Necessity of the qualification examination: At the request of the applicant or by the decision of the Ukrainian National Research and Development Institute, a qualification examination may be carried out, which will also affect the cost and duration of the procedure.

Estimated cost of copyright registration for a computer program in Ukraine:

  • State fee:As of 2023, the fee for registering a copyright for a computer program is about 1073 UAH for each author.
  • Patent attorney services:If you decide to use the services of a patent attorney, the cost of his services will be on average from UAH 5000.

Registration deadlines:

  • Formal examination of the application: Up to 2 months.
  • Qualification examination (if necessary): From 6 to 12 months.
  • Copyright registration and issuance of a certificate: About 1 month.

The general term of copyright registration for a computer program can be from 3 months to 1 year.


  • Prices are as of 2023 and are subject to change.
  • We recommend that you check the current cost and terms directly with the Ukrainian Patent and Trademark Office or with patent attorneys.

What should I do if somone uses my software illegally? What evidence do I need for the court?

If you believe that someone is infringing your copyright in a computer program, it is important to act decisively and competently to protect your interests.

Here are the steps to take:

  1.     Collection of evidence:

Notarisation of web pages:If the software is illegally distributed on the Internet, have this fact notarised.

Screenshots, videos:Take screenshots or videos that demonstrate the fact of illegal use of your application.

Saving email correspondence:If the breach contacted you or others about your application, save all correspondence.

Preserving promotional materials:If the infringer uses an image or description of your application for promotional purposes, preserve these materials.

Samples of counterfeit products:If possible, obtain a copy of the counterfeit software to provide evidence of its illegal distribution.

  1.     Pre-trial settlement:
  • To file a claim:Make a written claim to the infringer demanding that the infringement of your copyright be stopped.
  • Negotiate: Try to settle the dispute through negotiations.
  1.     Applying to the court (if the pre-trial settlement did not work):

Letter of claim:Prepare a statement of claim to the court demanding the protection of your copyright.

Trial:Participate in court hearings and provide the court with all the necessary evidence.

Evidence confirming your copyright and the fact of its infringement:

  • Copyright registration certificate:It is a strong proof of your authorship and the date of creation of the program.
  • Source code:Can be provided as evidence of your authorship, but is usually considered by the court in camera to avoid disclosure.
  • Materials confirming the date of creation of the application:This can be project files, emails, backups, code deposits, etc.
  • Evidence of illegal use of the program: Screenshots, videos, notarised web pages, samples of counterfeit products.
  • Expert opinion:In some cases, you may need to conduct an expert opinion to confirm the fact of copying your code or other elements of the application.

It is important to remember:

  • Evidence gathering should begin as early as possible.
  • Keep evidence confidential until it is presented to the court.
  • Going to court is a complicated process, so it is important to have an experienced intellectual property lawyer.

Can I register a copyright for a programme developed in collaboration? How do I do it?

Yes, you can register a copyright for a programme developed in collaboration. Ukrainian law recognises and protects the rights of co-authors to intellectual property, including computer programs.

Here are the key points you need to know about registering copyright in a co-authored program:

  1.     Types of co-authorship:

Collaborative authorship:When several people have jointly created a program and their contributions cannot be separated.

Composite work:When a program consists of separate parts created by different authors, and these parts can be used independently or as part of a single work.

  1.     Indication of authors in the application:

In the application for copyright registration, you must specify all co-authors of the programme and their contribution to its creation.

o    It is important to clearly define the type of co-authorship to avoid misunderstandings and disputes in the future.

  1.     Rights of co-authors:
  • Each co-author is entitled to a certificate of copyright registration.
  • Use of a co-authored programme is subject to the consent of all co-authors.
  • The distribution of profits from the use of the software is made in accordance with the agreement between the co-authors.

How to register a copyright for a program developed in collaboration:

  1.     Concur all the details:
  • Determine the type of co-authorship.
  • Negotiate and document in writing (e.g., in an equity agreement) the distribution of the programme rights.
  • Determine who will apply for registration.
  1.     Prepare the documents:
  • Application for copyright registration (indicating all co-authors).
  • Documents identifying the authors (passports, identification codes).
  • Document on payment of the state fee.
  • Materials that identify the application (code, description, screenshots).
  • Documents confirming the fact of co-authorship (agreement on the distribution of shares).
  1.     Submit documents to the USPA: In person, through a representative or by post.
  1.     Get a certificate:

Upon completion of the registration procedure, each co-author will receive a certificate of copyright registration.


  • We recommend that you contact a lawyer specialising in intellectual property to get qualified assistance at all stages of copyright registration for a co-authored programme.
  • This will help to avoid mistakes in the preparation of documents and ensure the protection of the rights of all co-authors.
  1. The Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights”. Link.
  2. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Link

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