Founded in 1991, the Software Patent Institute (SPI) is a nonprofit corporation formed to provide prior art related to software technology with the intention of improving the patent process. We strive to aggregate hard-to-access software data which is not readily available online or in electronic form elsewhere. Our source documents include computer manuals, older textbooks, journal articles, conference proceedings, computer science theses, and other such materials which may contain valuable prior art.
The Software Patent Institute is dedicated to providing information to the public and assisting the United States Patent and Trademark Office and others by providing technical support in the form of educational and training programs and providing access to information and retrieval resources concerning software prior art.
The SPI has received strong encouragement from the USPTO, and its mission has been endorsed in reports or resolutions from the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the Advisory Commission on Patent Law Reform, the Computer Business Equipment Manufacturers Association (CBEMA), the Software Publishers Association (SPA) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).
The Software Patent Institute has among its members some who believe strongly in the desirability of patents for software-related inventions and some who are strongly opposed to patents for software-related inventions. SPI deliberately takes no position on this issue, or on any particular patent or litigation. We believe that there is a current lack of readily-available information concerning software technology, and we are attempting to help solve that problem.