Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category

BSA Global Survey Reveals Security Concerns With Unlicensed Software — and Points to the Solution

posted by in Intellectual Property June 24, 2014

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Of all the priorities CIOs and IT managers are juggling these days — from cloud to mobility to data analytics — surveys find that cybersecurity is what keeps them up at night. And there’s good reason for that: Symantec dubbed 2013 the “Year of the Mega Breach” while the Economist Intelligence Unit found that more than 75 percent of organizations suffered a security incident in the past two years causing major system disruption or loss of sensitive data.

In this threat environment, the newly released 2013 edition of BSA’s bi-annual Global Software Survey finds that IT managers cite security threats from malware as the top reason to avoid unlicensed software. Among their specific concerns are intrusions by hackers and loss of data. Those concerns are not unreasonable. Yet a surprising 43 percent of the software installed on PCs around the world in 2013 was not properly licensed, at a commercial value of $62.7 billion. So while companies are justifiably worried, they are failing to act.

In fact, BSA’s Global Software Survey found that less than half of IT managers are confident their companies’ software is properly licensed, and only 35 percent of companies have written policies requiring use of properly licensed software. That is particularly striking when you consider the correlation between company policies and employee behavior: The survey found that at companies with written policies, 50 percent of employees say they never use unlicensed software, whereas at companies without written policies almost 60 percent of employees say they use unlicensed software frequently.

The good news is, this is a problem that can be solved. There are common-sense steps IT managers can take to track and manage their organizations’ software licenses:

  • First, know what’s on your system by keeping track of all software installations and ensuring your organization has the appropriate licenses for them;
  • Establish a formal, written policy and communicate it out to employees;
  • Adopt sound software asset management (SAM) practices.

SAM programs such as BSA’s Verafirm can help companies stay compliant and generate more value from their software. SAM ensures the right controls are in place to avoid security and operational risks while giving companies a full view of what is installed on their networks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Global Software Survey found that IT managers at companies with SAM programs in place are the most confident their software is properly licensed.

To read the full study, including estimated rates and commercial values of the unlicensed PC software installed last year in more than 100 countries around the world, visit www.bsa.org/globalstudy.

Affirming the Patentability of Software

posted by in Intellectual Property February 27, 2014

The Supreme Court next month will hear oral arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., an important case that could go a long way toward affirming that the breathtaking software innovations transforming the world around us are patentable just like any other form of innovation as long as they meet the standard tests of being new, useful, non-obvious and adequately described.

The debate about software patentability has been contentious in recent years, partly because it has been exacerbated by questionable inventions masquerading as software patents. Take the patents asserted by Alice Corp. They simply describe a well-known process for settling financial transactions — an abstract idea that has been around for centuries — and claim that performing the steps on a computer is an invention. The concept of performing intermediate settlements on a computer adds no substantial value and does not make the abstract idea patentable, so the Court should find Alice’s patents invalid. (more…)

Study Shows Impact of Software Infringement for Manufacturers

It has long been well understood that software is a key driver of growth and innovation because it serves as a tool of production for businesses across every sector of the global economy. It also follows that the impact of software intellectual property infringement is far reaching — and a new study quantifies that impact in the manufacturing sector.

Bill Kerr, associate professor at Harvard Business School, and Chad Moutray, chief economist for National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have found that global software IP infringement is a significant drain on the US economy. Their study, commissioned by NAM and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation, reveals that between 2002 and 2012 software infringement cost nearly $240 billion in manufacturing revenue, $70 billion in GDP and more than 42,000 US manufacturing jobs.

Results of the study were discussed on January 30, 2014 in a panel discussion at NAM headquarters featuring the study authors and industry leaders:

Pass the Innovation Act

posted by in Intellectual Property December 3, 2013

The US House of Representatives is set to vote this week on the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), an important bipartisan bill that would curb abusive patent litigation by reducing the financial incentive for bad actors to engage in it.

BSA urges Members of Congress to support the bill.

We have laid out the case for balanced patent reform along with a detailed analysis of the Innovation Act on PatentPrinciples.org. For a great overview of why the bill is needed, we would also encourage everyone to watch this video from Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the bill’s sponsor:

New Economic Research Confirms the Competitive Advantage of Properly Licensed Software

BSA has long highlighted the ways properly licensed software creates value for enterprises and economies. For example, a body of research shows that fully licensed software improves productivity and efficiency by reducing exposure to viruses and other security vulnerabilities — meaning fewer system malfunctions, downtime, and IT repair costs. It also comes with value-added services such as access to upgrades, patches, and manufacturer support services, including training and problem resolution. (more…)

The Power of Innovative Ideas

posted by in Intellectual Property April 25, 2013

April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, the day the World Intellectual Property Organization sets aside every year to promote discussion of the role IP plays in driving innovation, creativity, social progress and economic growth. But in truth, robust discussions of these issues are already well underway. (more…)

Clear Thinking on Software Patents

posted by in Industry, Intellectual Property February 22, 2013

In the vigorous, ongoing debate about the state of America’s patent system — and the state of software patents, in particular — there are some legitimate issues that call for practical solutions, and there is a great deal of peripheral noise. To sort through and identify which is which, BSA and the National Association of Manufacturers co-hosted a packed briefing event this week on Capitol Hill. (more…)

Patents Pending

posted by in Industry, Intellectual Property February 12, 2013

Recognizing the complex, rapidly evolving nature of software innovation, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has formed a partnership with the software community and is holding two “roundtable” discussions this month to solicit input on how best to improve the quality of the software-related patents it issues. I spoke for BSA today at the first of these roundtable discussions, held on the campus of Stanford University in Silicon Valley, and my message was simple: The ability to patent software is critical for promoting innovation, but the process can always be improved. Software is no different from any other class of invention in that regard.
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Inflection Points for Washington and the Software Industry

The Obama Administration and Congress have reached an inflection point in the wake of the 2012 election: The country is facing a steep “fiscal cliff” that no one wants to go over, but steering away from it will require policymakers to make difficult budgeting choices that few people will like.

The software industry meanwhile has come to an inflection point of a different sort: Companies like those in BSA are innovating rapidly, but they face daunting challenges around the world as courts, lawmakers, and regulators adopt policies that are closing off access to key markets, undermining the business of developing and commercializing intellectual property, and imperiling the growth and evolution of cloud computing.

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Kappos Offers Fact-Driven Analysis of the Software Patent System

posted by in Intellectual Property November 20, 2012

Against the backdrop of an ongoing debate in industry and policy circles about the impact of software patents on innovation and the economy, US Patent and Trademark Director Dave Kappos this morning argued that the patent system works well. His remarks came in a keynote address at the Center for American Progress, which is worth reading or watching. (more…)