Erik’s Brain

The reward of a thing well done...

Software and Process Patents

Because of software and process patents any company could be sued for almost anything. It is impossible to know what the next patent to be issued will be and whether or not your company will be at complete risk. It is impossible to go through the entire catalog of patents issued over the last 10, 15, 20 years and determine which will be used to initiate a suit against your company.

via Mark Cuban

It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to me if the methods I’m using to estimate split distances and finish times in Splitcaster is infringing on some patent someone filed fifteen years ago. But how would I know until I’m sued? This hasn’t even happened yet, but it very easily could, and that in itself pisses me off.

On the flip side, maybe I “invented” this on my own. Should I go through the process of patenting it so that I could then go through the process of suing people who steal my process, either on purpose or inadvertently? No. It’s a no win situation for small businesses and solo developers. The only winners in the software patent wars are the lawyers and the big businesses who can afford to pay them.