This article is a good resource for those who want to know more about the most raised question – What is the impact of software patents on innovation in the software industry? Read along ..
Interesting that I found this online petition against Software Patenting – Petition Against Software Patents. The petition states that Software programs often builds upon previous knowledge and algorithms or logic and the software patents slows down innovation and progress in software development. This is a fact. Think about a situation when every small process (e:g calling web-service by SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) request-response methods) is patended.
One might argue that this situation will lead to people to think of new ways and methods, but, if implementing such new ways and methods depends on using the existing process/methods that are patented? This really cripples innovation.
I would advice that let Software Patents be applied to major business methods that can claim a major shift in the innovation stream – for example an automated insurance claims and administration system which can handle any insurance carrier with least customization. Running after patents for every small software process or processing logic, kills innovation, and this should be discouraged
For all interested, here is an excellent paper on software patents and its impacts on innovation – An empirical look at Software patents.