TechPats Attends IAM’s Inaugural IP Software Summit


TechPats San FranciscoLast Thursday, TechPats attended the IP Software Summit, presented by IAM, held at the Presidio of San Francisco. The IP Software Summit was built to provide a new platform for professionals from the software industry to discuss the scope of protection, collaboration, and monetization regarding software intellectual property. The panel format allowed in-depth discussions as well as questions from the audience on a variety of legal and technological topics.

As expected, a significant focus of the conference was subject matter eligibility of software patents in the US, Europe, and beyond. Several panels addressed the continuing effects of the US Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision on software and business method patents, emphasizing the developments made since, as well as the need for further court guidance and legislative action. Discussions of the “inventive step” analysis used by Europe and several other patent systems brought conversations concerning when prior art should be used in determinations of subject matter eligibility and patentability.

Attendees included licensing executives, in-house counsel, inventors, engineers, and IP practitioners—including several panelists touting the benefits of working with Open Source communities. Once thought to be oil and vinegar, protecting IP in open source software is growing in popularity when accomplished within the cooperative spirit. While patents took center stage most of the event, the panelists stressed their utilization of other IP rights to protect internet applications and cloud software, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the new Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Some of the highlights of the conference came from the discussions of Silicon Valley’s “true feelings” towards software patents. While the consensus was that tech companies do not actually hate the patent system, the panelists spoke of a need to balance protecting their company’s own portfolio and minimizing risk of frivolous litigation.

With a panorama overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, and a great blend of local, national, and global attendees, the San Francisco location could not have been better. TechPats, a proud sponsor of the event, also enjoyed seeing many clients, partners, and colleagues.