The Challenges of Reforming Intellectual Property Protection for Computer Software

Author(s): Peter S. Menell
Year: 2011

Abstract: This article examines three critical, interrelated challenges for reforming legal protection for computer software: (1) analyzing the market failures that might justify government intervention to define (or alter) the legal entitlements granted for software innovations; (2) predicting the likely path of computer technology; and (3) anticipating and navigating potential impediments to legislative reform of legal protection for software. It warns that patent protection for computer software poses serious potential problems and should be addressed before powerful economic interests vest in large software patent portfolios.

Keywords: computer software, intellectual property, copyright, patent, political economy