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Columbia Law School

Patents

Business Organizations Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Disputed Quality Of Software Patents, John R. Allison, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2007

The Disputed Quality Of Software Patents, John R. Allison, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze the characteristics of the patents held by firms in the software industry. Unlike prior researchers, we rely on examination of the individual patents to determine which patents involve software inventions. This method of identifying the relevant patents is more laborious than the methods that previous scholars have used, but it produces a dataset from which we can learn more about the role of patents in the software industry. In general, we find that the patents computer technology firms obtain on software inventions have more prior art references, claims, and forward citations than the patents the same firms obtain ...


The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

The Commercialization Of Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

A major shift toward open source software is underway as companies are more critically evaluating the cost effectiveness of their IT investments, seeing the benefits of collaborative development, and looking for ways to avoid vendor lock-in. At the same time, academics and industry visionaries are criticizing the use of a traditional appropriation mechanism for innovation – the patent – by bemoaning the decisions of U.S. and foreign governments to permit software patents, the rising numbers of patents on software-related innovations (the so-called arms race build-up), and the cost and frequency of patent litigation in the software industry. The critics generally have ...


Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager Jan 2005

Patents, Venture Capital, And Software Start-Ups, Ronald J. Mann, Thomas W. Sager

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the relation between the patenting behavior of startup firms and the progress of those firms through the venture capital cycle. Linking data relating to venture capital financing of software startup firms with data concerning the patents obtained by those firms, we find significant and robust positive correlations between patenting and several variables measuring the firm's performance (including number of rounds, total investment, exit status, receipt of late stage financing, and longevity). The data also show that (1) only about one in four venture-backed software firms acquired even one patent during the period of the study; (2 ...