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An Empirical Look at Software Patents

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  • James Bessen
  • Robert M. Hunt

Abstract

"Software patents have grown rapidly in number and now comprise 15% of all patents. They are acquired primarily by large manufacturing firms in industries known for strategic patenting; only 5% belong to software publishers. The very large increase in software patent propensity over time is not adequately explained by changes in R&D investments, employment of computer programmers, or productivity growth. The residual increase in software patent propensity is consistent with a sizeable increase in the cost effectiveness of software patents during the 1990s, perhaps arising from changes in the application of patent law to computer software." Copyright 2007, The Author(s) Journal Compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing.

Suggested Citation

  • James Bessen & Robert M. Hunt, 2007. "An Empirical Look at Software Patents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 157-189, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:157-189
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Scherer, F. M., 1982. "The office of technology assessment and forecast industry concordance as a means of identifying industry technology origins," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 12-17.
    2. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Demand-Pull and Technological Invention: Schmookler Revisited," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 225-237, March.
    3. Brian S. Silverman, 1999. "Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1109-1124, August.
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