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Does your employer/ISV have patents?

I'm curious whether most smaller software development shops have any patents. Does Fog Creek (a quick search says no?
Friday, February 03, 2006
My previous employer has a lot of patents, but they're not a software shop. It's a biotech company.
QADude Send private email
Friday, February 03, 2006
Last week I was watching a podcast called an Evening at Adler (link below) where 10 Mac ISV’s discussed ISV issues in a forum environment.

Of the 10, only 1 (actually it was his employer) had any patents. One of the participants expressed his view of patents along the lines of: “It’s gonna cost me $10k (USD) to get a patent which I couldn’t afford to defend anyway. What’s the point?”

Having done some work for a patent attorney firm I can identify with this. I was told one story of a firm (who held a patent) suing another who had infringed the patent. The client won the case only to discover that the plaintiff was insolvent. When you win you lose.

In an ideal world, patents have their benefit. “Hey, I came up with the idea – I should at least be given a chance to reap the rewards of commercialising it.” It costs money to instigate, monitor infringements and, if necessary, defend a patent. I’d hazard a guess that the ISV’s who have the resources to do that are far and few between.
Marcus from Melbourne
Saturday, February 04, 2006

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