General Question

ben's avatar

Should I get a software patent?

Asked by ben (8770points) November 9th, 2006
The expense and time are unappealing, but my small startup may want one down the road. How much will it really cost? How long will it take? Will I ever really use it? Aren't they sort of unethical?
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12 Answers

Irene's avatar
To maintian a patent in the major countries around the world ca cost >$200,000 per year. There are maintenance fees on top of filinf fees.
bob's avatar
Yes, yes, yes
bob's avatar
You should get a software patent.
bob's avatar
It's not super expensive. I mean, Amazon and Microsoft and IBM have millions and millions of those things, right?
bob's avatar
It can't be so insanely expensive.
bob's avatar
but if you don't get a software patent, you will get screwed
bob's avatar
or at least, that's a major possibility.
bob's avatar
Is it unethical? Maybe: but the unethical part is forcing other people to pay you, or preventing innovation from happening. Pre-emptively preventing yourself from losing your own creation just seems smart.
josh's avatar
the patent fees for just the U.S. aren't too expensive; the legal fees for obtaining one, i.e., "prosecuting" your case with the Patent Examiners can run into the tens of thousands or more.
josh's avatar
it will take around 5 years.
josh's avatar
One consideration to keep in mind is whether people can easily get around it. A patent gives you the right to exclude others from making, using or selling your invention. If someone can use your process by running a server in Singapore, it may not be worth getting a patent.
skfinkel's avatar
what is the downside from getting a patent? Is it really that expensive?

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