Software Patents: A Replication Study

TitleSoftware Patents: A Replication Study
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPoo-CaamaƱo, G, German, DM
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleOpenSym 2015, the 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration
Date Published08/2015

Previous research has documented the legal and economic aspects
of software patents. To study the evolution in the granting of software
patents we reproduced and extended part of the empirical
study on software patents conducted by Bessen and Hunt. The
original study established a criteria to identify software patents,
and provided a look at the evolution of patents granted until 2002.
We present a simple approach to retrieve patents from the full text
database provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Of-
fice (USPTO), which is freely accessible. We also present the evolution
of software patents since the original study, and which we
also present separated by major technological firms. Our research
shows a continuous increase in the number of software patents
granted higher, both in number of patents granted (in absolute numbers)
and in proportion of overall patents (in relative terms). The
relevance of studying the evolution of software patents relies in
the challenges to find prior-art, either for practitioners looking for
patenting as well as for examiners evaluating granting a new patent.

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