Thanks for the clarification, but I think for my point, the legal differences are immaterial.
The germane sections of the US code [ http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102 ] in general state:
"(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. "
As I noted in an earlier post, specific code [called "an original work of authorship"] can be have protection under the statute, but not the processes executed.
"(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."
Patents extend to things, processes, systems and the like.
So, as a lawyer, I think either could apply. And the last piece of software I wrote was a batch file no one would pay for.