Entries for January 2013

January 24, 2013

The First Software Patent

The latest episode in my PBS Digital Studios series “INVENTORS” is about Martin Goetz, the man who got the first every software patent. There’s a good chance that you’ve heard about the current controversy over software patents, but you may not know why we have software patents to begin with. Here’s the story:

I found it especially interesting that today software patents in the hands of patent trolls are said to stifle innovation in small companies, but the first software patent was a tool that enabled a small company to compete against a big corporation. That seems to me more in the spirit of what patents are for.