Software patents as a barrier to the development of start-ups

Bartłomiej Biga (Cracow University of Economics)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the assessment of software patentability by certain IT companies and to compare them to the literature. This is done through qualitative research by interviewing managers from ten different software companies. Comparing their reasons for not patenting their software with the generally stated reasons gathered from a literature review allows for the identification of the relationship between the theoretical and empirical findings. The qualitative research also provides empirical data about the strategies that are used in certain small and medium sized software companies to deal with software patenting problems especially patent thickets. Different aspects of the malfunctioning of legal protection for software that may be solved at the company-level are also explored in the paper.

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