2008 Berkeley Patent Survey
The 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey showed that venture capitalists are not interested in software patents and that SMEs over estimate the importance of having patents. The paper was published in the USA by Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson, Ted Sichelman, and Stuart Graham.
In a three-part series, authors Merges, Samuelson, and Sichelman highlighted key findings.
The study found that while 97% of venture-backed startups in biotech have patents, only 67% of venture-backed software startups do, and among all software startups (regardless of their source of financial backing) the number drops to 25%. This information was used in EFF's Bilski v. Kappos brief.
From an article written by two of the authors:
Among software companies, the results are even more striking, with them reporting that patents provide less than a "slight" incentive.
Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Studies on economics and innovation
- Statements from venture capitalists
- Why software is different
- Patent owners against software patents
- The paper: High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey
- 76% of Venture Capitalists Believe that Software Patents are Important (NOT!)
- Why We Need To Abolish Software Patents, Vivek Wadhwa (patent owner), discusses the Berkeley survey
Three of the authors (Merges, Samuelson, and Sichelman) published a three-part summary in July 2010:
- Patenting by Entrepreneurs (Part I of III): three major findings
- Patenting by Entrepreneurs (Part II of III): three additional major findings
- Patenting by Entrepreneurs (Part III of III): how to interpret the incentive effect findings
The same three authors published a further article one year later:
Further papers discussing this paper
- High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey - "a detailed discussion of the survey results" (by the four authors of the study)
- Patenting by Entrepreneurs: An Empirical Study - "a focused analysis on the drivers of startup patenting" (by Sichelman and Graham)
- Why Do Start-Ups Patent? - "some background on the genesis of the survey" (also by Sichelman and Graham)
- "Patenting by Entrepreneurs: The Berkeley Patent Survey (Part I of III)". http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2010/07/patenting-by-entrepreneurs-the-berkeley-patent-survey-part-i-of-iii-1.html. "As expected, this figure varies widely by industry—for example, 97% of venture-backed biotechnology companies hold patents or applications, while only 67% of venture-backed software startups do. And among the general population of software startups responding, the rate was only about 25%."
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