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<p>Commercial-off-the-shelf software components are considered an important technology for future software development. However, compared to their potential benefit, their market success has been modest. There have been many attempts to overcome technical obstacles, such as component interoperability, but the business model has received less attention. This article discusses how unrestricted proliferation of functionally similar software components is technically and economically disadvantageous. Software patents can slow this activity by channeling it into either additional applications of existing technology or more significant improvements to that technology. This would facilitate component-based software reuse and strengthen COTS software's weak business model.</p>
business models, commercial off-the-shelf software components, computer law, intellectual property protection, software patents, software reuse

M. S. Guntersdorfer and D. G. Kay, "How Software Patents Can Support COTS Component Business," in IEEE Software, vol. 19, no. , pp. 78-83, 2002.
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