20 January 2010

Statistics on Software Patentes in the US

In his posting "patent facts and stats" Mr Philip Brooks reported on interesting figures regarding US software patents. Basically, the studies were focussed on

  1. the number of US patents that are software/internet patents;
  2. annual percentage of US patents that are declared invalid via litigation; and
  3. annual percentage of US software patents that are declared invalid via litigation.
Regarding question 1, noteworthy increases in the number of annually filed software patentes have occurred in the years 1998 (+140%) and 2006 (+60%).

Regarding the two remaining questions, the average annual numbers of upheld patents in infringement proceedings iwere estimated at 54% and  58%, depending on the sudy. However, the comparable figures for software patentes have not been found statistically significant, which is a pitty since this would have allowed to draw some interesting conclusions on the quality of software patents in the US as compared to all US patents.