Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Columbia Law School

Patents

Computer Law

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Software Patents, Incumbents, And Entry, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2007

Software Patents, Incumbents, And Entry, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Software patents have been controversial since the days when "software" referred to the crude programs that came free with an IBM mainframe. Different perspectives have been presented in judicial, legislative, and administrative fora over the years, and the press has paid as much attention to this issue as it has to any other intellectual property topic during this time. Meanwhile, a software industry developed and has grown to a remarkable size, whether measured by revenues or profitability, number of firms or employees, or research expenditures. The scope of software innovation has become even broader, as an increasing number of devices ...


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 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 the examination of 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 data set from which we can learn more about the role of patents in the software industry. In general, we find that patents the computer technology firms obtain on software inventions have more prior art references, claims, and forward citations than the patents that the same ...


Commercializing Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Commercializing Open Source Software: Do Property Rights Still Matter?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

For several years now, open source software products have been gaining prominence and market share. Yet the products themselves are not as provocative as the way in which they are developed and distributed. Two related features of the open source model are distinctive: the use of collaborative development structures that extend beyond the boundaries of a single firm, and the lack of reliance on intellectual property ("IP") rights as a means of appropriating the value of the underlying technologies. Firm-level control of intellectual property is replaced by a complex set of relations, both informal and sometimes contractual, among strategic partners ...


Do Patents Facilitate Financing In The Software Industry?, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2005

Do Patents Facilitate Financing In The Software Industry?, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This Article is the first part of a wide study of the role of intellectual property in the software industry. Unlike previous papers that focus primarily on software patents – which generally are held by firms that are not software firms – this Article provides a thorough and contextually grounded description of the role that patents play in the software industry itself.

The bulk of the Article considers the pros and cons of patents in the software industry. The Article starts by emphasizing the difficulties that prerevenue startups face in obtaining any value from patents. Litigation to enforce patents is impractical for ...