At the time of Dr. Ayyadurai’s invention of email, software inventions could not be protected through software patents. It was not until 1994 that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that computer programs were patentable as the equivalent of a “digital machine.” However, the Computer Software Act of 1980 allowed software inventions to be protected to a certain extent, by copyright. Therefore, in or about 1981, Dr. Ayyadurai registered his invention with the U.S. Copyright Office. On August 30, 1982, Dr. Ayyadurai was legally recognized by the United States government as the inventor of email through the issuance of the first U.S. Copyright registration for “Email,” “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System,” a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A. With that U.S. Copyright of the system, the word “email” entered the English language.
[Footnote: The Online Etymology Dictionary lists “email” as entering the language in 1982, when Dr. Ayyadurai’s Copyright was registered. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=e-mail.]