January 28, 2013 AT 6:00 am

The First Software Patent

The First Software Patent | INVENTORS | PBS Digital Studios.

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard about the controversy around software patents, but you probably don’t know the story of Martin Goetz, who got the very first software patent in 1968. Today, some people say that software patents owned by big companies end up stifling innovation in small companies, but the first software patent was a tool that enabled a small company to compete against a big corporation.

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