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Intellectual Property Right Protection in the Software Market

By Yasuhiro Arai


We discuss the software patent should be granted or not. There exist two types of coping in the software market; reverse engineering and software duplication. Software patent can prevent both types of copies since a patent protects an idea. If the software is not protected by a patent, software producer cannot prevent reverse engineering. However, the producer can prevent the software duplication by a copyright. It is not clear the software patent is socially desirable when we consider these two types of coping. We obtain the following results. First, the number of copy users under the patent protection is greater than that under the copyright protection. Second, the government can increase social welfare by applying copyright protection when the new technology is sufficiently innovative.Copyright Protection, Intellectual Property Right, Software

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