I have been working with software-related intellectual property issues for several years now. I finally broke down and bought a book to help me get the big picture. The following book has been remarkably helpful:
Intellectual Property and Open Source: A practical guide to protecting codeI have been quite surprised how well Lindberg describes the complex legal issues related to intellectual property law. Lindberg is a lawyer and software developer, and he uses computer science analogies that are quite straightforward.