Has Swedish companies’ ability to protect their innovations decreased due to a shift towards more software and business method-based innovations?
Sammanfattning: The goal of this master’s thesis was to investigate if the possibilities for Swedish companies to protect their innovations have decreased due to a shift towards more software and business method-based innovations. The investigation was based on interviews with respondents working as IPR consultants, with technical development or as patent attorneys at different Swedish companies together with collected data from different Swedish and European databases. The mature Swedish companies, within the electronic and telecommunication industries, have experienced a shift moving from offering a product towards offering a product and a service. The newer companies, within financial technology and the app-industry, have not experienced this shift since they have been offering a product and a service from the beginning. The collected data of filed and granted patent applications from the European patent office indicates that the number of applications has increased over time. The number of companies within the newer industries, such as programming and IT-services, has increase, which according to this thesis protect their innovations by patent to a lesser extent in comparison to the mature companies. Further, the possibilities for Swedish companies to protect their innovations by patent have not decreased, but there are more problems or difficulties for the newer companies in comparison to the mature companies to protect their innovations by patents. For future work, e.g. the investigation could be based on big data or artificial intelligence instead of computer programs and business methods which were this thesis main focus.
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