IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Generation of Software Patents


  • James Bessen

    () (Research on Innovation, Boston University School of Law, Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Harvard))


This report examines changes in the patenting behavior of the software industry since the 1990s. It finds that most software firms still do not patent, most software patents are obtained by a few large firms in the software industry or in other industries, and the risk of litigation from software patents continues to increase dramatically. Given these findings, it is hard to conclude that software patents have provided a net social benefit in the software industry.

Suggested Citation

  • James Bessen, 2011. "A Generation of Software Patents," Working Papers 1102, Research on Innovation.
  • Handle: RePEc:roi:wpaper:1102

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Comino & Fabio Maria Manenti, 2015. "Intellectual Property and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)," JRC Working Papers JRC97541, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

    More about this item


    patents; software; software patents; litigation; innovation; startup firms;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:roi:wpaper:1102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Bessen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.