I am reading the datasheet for the A25L032 "32Mbit I/O Serial Flash Memory". The page 15 of this datasheet explains that there are non-volatile bits in the status register that can be used to "write protect" a section of the flash memory.
Flash is a non-volatile memory and it changes when we write to it and never otherwise. It has features which prevent data corruption also e.g at power up. To do write first we send a "write enable" instruction and then once write is complete the "write enable" bit inside is automatically reset so no one can ever "accidently write" something into the Flash. Now why in the world would one need bits to write protect parts of the flash??
To top this up, there are also non-volatile "status register protection" bits.
Another aspect of this problem is "software protect mode" and "hardware protect mode". These are stated on page 7 of the datasheet. The software protect mode is when we use the block protect, sector protect, top/bottom and complementary protect bits. Hardware protect is when we set the "write protect" bit so the bits I just mentioned before themself become write protected. What is the logic behind using the term "software protect" and "hardware protect" for these two?