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Berkeley Law Survey Challenges Popular Beliefs About Hi-tech Startup Patents

The first major survey of high-tech entrepreneurs finds that patents provide less incentive to innovate than popularly believed. A large share of software startups avoid patents altogether, finding it more critical to move fast to market. But patents do offer tangible benefits across industries by limiting competition, attracting financing, and increasing the chances of an acquisition or IPO.

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) June 22, 2010 -- A new survey of high-technology entrepreneurs finds that patents provide less incentive to innovate than popularly believed, but offer tangible benefits by limiting competition, attracting financing, and increasing the chances of an acquisition or IPO.

The survey High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law's Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. The research center surveyed chief executive and technology officers of more than 1,300 software, biotech, medical devices, and computer hardware startup firms founded within the past decade.

The survey results show that patents are more widespread among startups than has been previously reported, while the reasons for acquiring patents differ across industries. Patents are more common and more highly valued in biotechnology and medical device startups than in early-stage software and Internet firms.

"Biotech and medical device startup companies regard patents as key for attaining competitive adv

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