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Keywords:

  • business method patents;
  • project management software systems;
  • software system provider;
  • intellectual property management;
  • patent management

ABSTRACT

The legal protection of project management–related software systems has changed recently, as patenting is spreading to the area of business methods. We investigate which parts of project management are especially confronted with this form of legal protection and how software system providers deal with this topic. Almost all the tasks of project management are permeated by business method patents but the intensity of these tasks differs remarkably. Their assignment—related to major project management software system providers—is unbalanced. While patenting-experienced companies have already learned how to use business method patents to gain advantages in project management environments, many others have not.