Which sectors are for and against
- Patent lawyers are for software patents
- SMEs are against
- The free software community is against
- Some venture capitalists are strongly against. Maybe "most", but I haven't dug into it.
Indeed, most major software firms and inventors opposed patents for software through the mid-1990s. See Bessen & Meurer, at 22, 189; see also Effy Oz, Acceptable Protection of Software Intellectual Property: A Survey of Software Developers and Lawyers, 34 Info. & Mgmt. 161, 167 (1998) (reporting that 86% of surveyed software developers chose copyright over patent as their preferred avenue of protection).
Attributed to "Bessen & Meurer, at 22":
the majority of software firms still do not obtain patents, and most software patents are awarded to firms in other industries.
Finding the position of a specific company
The most reliable way to know a company's position is by checking for submissions to consultations from patent offices, governments, and courts. In these documents, the authors explain their real hopes, unlike press releases and public statements whose focus is on making the company look good to everyone.
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Patent ownership breakdown
- Who lobbied for software patents
- Changes in company policy over time
- Why companies apply for software patents