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Technology Law Bulletin Fall 2003

Current Trends in Software Licensing by Thomas H. Durkin

While the structure of the traditional software license has remained constant, the business approach of licensors and licensees has changed in significant ways over the past two years. Advances in technology have provided flexibility in the ways that software can be distributed, which has led to changes in the focus of license negotiations. Also, with the tight financing market, companies are turning to strategic licensing arrangements as financing alternatives. The standard off-the-shelf licensing deal for an emerging company is becoming increasingly rare. This article summarizes some of the changes we’ve observed. more…

Software and Business Method Patents Roll On

Patents covering software and business methods have been the most controversial aspect of patent law for the last few years. However, the criticism these patents have received has not slowed an explosion of patent litigation as owners of software and business method patents seek to enforce their rights. Software and business method patents raise important questions that every company seeking maximum protection for its IP must face: are these patents enforceable? What types of activities can be protected? What decisions should a business owner make to take advantage of software and business method patents, or to avoid being accused of violating such patents? After a brief primer on patents, we will examine recent U.S. patent litigation with a view toward answering these questions.more…