- Any complex software product uses many algorithms, steps, techniques and so on
- There's a patent on almost any method and system in software, even such that are trivial by now but still didn't expire. There is no likely way to conduct a thorough check into whether a complex piece of software violates any patent or not, using today's tools.
- Software patents are arguably in about half the cases very abstract, vague and vague to determine what range of trivial stuff their claims cover
- In court proceedings, damages may be awarded as 3 times the basic amount arrived at, in case the infringing party has known about a patent while practicing it.
Is it then, not better for a software startup not to read patents in its domain (other than if it needs to make a search prior to filing its own!)?
- Finding whether a software startup violates any software patent would take a human something in the order of magnitude of a century without sleep and food.
- It will fill their heads with all kinds of vague worries pushing them off to a state of mind that does not allow doing creative work or being very productive in general, as an understatement.
- It subjects them to a risk of finding themselves paying damages 3 times their sales, e.g. closing their business, rather than a risk of paying some damages that can also be more possibly negotiated
This question is asked in good spirit, not one that tries to cheat or be unethical.