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06.09.13

Myth of Patents for Startups Debunked

Posted in Patents at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The only small entity to benefit from patents is a law firm and/or patent troll

Troll in lair

Summary: Startups do not need patents according to some new assessments with evidence

It is often said by boosters of software patents that startups need those in order to attract investment. Several VCs openly disputed this off-the-cuff hypothesis (we gave several examples over the years, notably Wilson [1, 2] and Feld) and now we have a more legitimate take on it, coming from this good site which gets interpreted as follows by TechDirt:

One of the common “defenses” of patents that we often hear is that “investors require them.” That’s simply not true. There are, certainly, some short-sighted investors who require patents, but more and more of the most respected investors have spoken out against the patent system, acknowledging that it does more harm than good. The latest example of this comes from Rob Pegoraro, who spoke to a bunch of startups presenting at a “Demo Day” and asked each of them about their patent strategy.

The evidence here (anecdotal rather than statistical) can be revisited at a later stage when someone parrots the taking point about startups needing patents. It is a very common taking point, almost never used by an actual startup.

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