The term software typically refers to the set of computer program instructions and related data making up a conceptual entity concerned with the operation of a data processing system. In other words software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms, associated data and their documentation.
In some circumstances the word ‘software’ is used to describe other digital assets formatted for reproduction by a specific data processing system or apparatus, such as video or audio content.
Computer software may be a product of a business, or it may comprise programs and/or data developed within the business to automate processes and improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the business.
Software is generally protected by copyright in the program instruction code. Many software processes and functions may also be protected via patents in various jurisdictions, particularly if the software embodies some technical function which mitigates or solves a corresponding technical problem.
It is a common mistake to neglect, or undervalue, software developed for use within a business when assessing the inventory and value of its intellectual assets.