Oracle Patents: Everything You need to Know
Oracle patents refer to Oracle Corporation's policy of opposing patents in the software business.3 min read
Oracle patents refer to Oracle Corporation's policy of opposing patents in the software business. The company's position is that current copyright laws and trade secret protections do a much better job to protect software development than patent laws. While patent laws are appropriate in other industries, allowing inventors to benefit from their work, the fast pace and creative use of previously-known methods make them hard to apply in the software development industry.
Oracle's Patent Policy
Although it opposes the use of patents in the software industry, Oracle needed to adopt a defensive strategy and use patents to strategically cross-license with other companies when creating new software.
The use of patents is perfectly understandable in other industries as they offer the inventor 17-year exclusivity rights to their inventions and therefore protect all the capital, hard work, and long hours that were put in a particular project. Without patent laws, anyone else would be able to freely profit from that work. However, the software industry has some unique characteristics that make patents hard to apply and inefficient. As opposed to mechanical and engineering inventions, a piece of software is usually a complex combination of concepts and ideas and is not decisively pushed forward by the development of a new technique.
The American software industry has benefitted from the lack of patent laws and has grown into a multi-billion dollar market. The many uses of the created software also helped push forward countless other domains and businesses. For those reasons, any change in the system that would divert time and resources from software development to obtaining and enforcing patents would have a negative impact on the software companies and on U.S. industry as a whole.