Thursday, July 12th, 2012 - Solentive Software
Software patents are on the rise, particularly in the US and it is believed that Australia may be following this trend. Software patent lawsuits accounted for ten per cent in the US and six per cent in Australia. Is it necessary to patent your software idea or is this practice hindering innovation in the software industry?

“Innovation in software, like in any industry, costs time and money. For this reason, I believe that the innovation should be of residual value to the person or organisation that developed the idea,” commented Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software.

“To ensure that the innovator is able to gain residual value from their innovation, it is important to provide some sort of protection for the period immediately following the development of the idea – this is usually in the form of a patent,” advised Kareem.

“However, the practice of placing patents on innovations (particularly in the software industry) where it is not intended to be used is stifling innovation in the industry. Although I support the idea of placing patents on innovative software, the ‘use it or lose it’ clause should be a caveat to this,” concluded Kareem.

A study conducted in 2011 found that most software patents were held by large firms who did not even operate in the software industry. If a patent holder took action against a developer, many would not be able to contest the lawsuit as they would not be able to afford it. This would prevent the use of new technologies that would be of benefit to those that do operate in the software industry, as well as customers who would have benefitted from the development of the product.

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Solentive Software

Solentive Software specialises in custom software development and systems integration. You'll benefit from our real-world expertise in software built in .NET and Java that is task-matched for affordability and designed to grow with your business.
Kareem Tawansi
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