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Columbia Law School

Patents

Science and Technology Law

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

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 ...


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 paper is the first part of a wide-ranging 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 ...


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 ...