TAP Blog

Posts by Eric Goldman
In November, at Santa Clara University, we held a conference entitled ”Solutions to the Software Patent Problem” that assumed, without debating, that software patents were a problem. With that premise, conference participants could focus their attention on thoughtful and creative ways to redress the problems created by software patents. At the conference, we heard a lot of different proposals (nearly two dozen) from experts in the field. Here’s a recap of some of my personal favorites.
Software patents play a huge–and controversial–role in our economy. In a recent post, I explained some of the problems that software innovations pose to the patent system. This post extends that discussion by exploring two structural hurdles to addressing those problems: (1) the challenge of defining “software,” and (2) which regulatory institution(s) can implement any fixes. In the near future, I will conclude this three-part series of posts by exploring specific ideas to fix software patents.
The U.S. patent system largely treats all innovations equally, but innovation often works quite differently in different industries. In particular, the software industry differs from other major innovative industries in several key ways, and those differences can create significant friction for the patent system. This post is the first of a three-part series recapping a conversation we had in November at Santa Clara University entitled “Solutions to the Software Patent Problem.”
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