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Large numbers of intellectual property disputes involve software


When New Jersey businesses create a new product, those businesses want to make sure that they are the only ones that profit from that new invention. Intellectual property laws help these businesses by providing legal protections for all sorts of creations. These legal protections preclude other businesses from using the invention for their own profit without the permission of the original inventor. Under these laws, businesses can sue another company that violates its intellectual property rights. These suits allow businesses to ensure that they are protecting their business concepts.

In today’s digital world, it may not come to a surprise that litigation involving new inventions most frequently deals with software and software-related patents. According to data released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 46 percent of lawsuits filed between 2007 and 2011 involved a dispute over software or related products.

While companies outside the technology sector may think that they are immune from software patent disputes, they are not. According to this data, 39 percent of those companies sued were not technology companies — many were actually sued over their use of technology, particularly on their websites.

The data also found that many of these suits — 19 percent — were filed by patent monetization entities. PMEs are third parties who are hired to get the most revenue possible from a business’s patent. Only 68 percent of the suits between 2007 and 2011 were brought by the company holding the patent.

This data shows how important it is for New Jersey companies to understand how intellectual property protections work. Businesses need to understand how the software they use is protected and whether or not they are violating any patents by using it. Without this broad knowledge, New Jersey businesses open themselves up to the possibility of a suit.

Source: Bloomberg News, “Software Patents, NFL, Tesla, Reddit: Intellectual Property (1),” Victoria Slind-Flor, Aug. 23, 2013

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