There has been continued debate in Europe over whether to change the patentability of software – or so-called computer-implemented inventions – and to follow the US model of allowing software patents.
The European debate has shown a severe lack of empirical analysis on the possible impact of software patenting that goes beyond interest-driven rhetoric. This book seeks to address this shortcoming by taking a two-fold approach. Firstly, a survey of German software companies provides a representative overview of both general strategies to protect inventions and opinions regarding the future IPR regime in the context of innovation strategies – including the importance and use of Open Source software. Secondly, a series of case studies illustrate the varying impacts that patents and other protection strategies can have in specific contexts.
This book provides both a theoretical overview of the economic impacts and policy implications of software patents, and an empirical foundation upon which to base a discussion on how to shape the intellectual property regime for software. Thus, this volume will be of interest to industrial economists and students, as well as legal scientists and analysts and students of governance in innovation systems. It will also appeal to all policy stakeholders dealing with IPR issues and/or software developing industries.