I understand in the decentralized space patenting anything is generally frowned upon. Having said that, doesn't this expose Dapp developers to patent trolls, such as the Bank of America, from patenting open-source technology and then requesting royalty from every for-profit entity developing Dapps?

From a legal resources perspective, banks or trolls may have a lot more resources to sue and see a legal battle through. Wouldn't it be advantageous to patent our discoveries and processes?

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/bank-of-america-patents/

Please note the following difference between patent, copyright and trademark:

What Is a Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.

What Is a Patent?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office. The term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. US patent grants are effective only within the US, US territories, and US possessions.

What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.

My question is specific to patents.

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    "doesn't this expose Dapp developers to patent trolls, such as the Bank of America, from patenting open-source technology" -- Patenting open-source technology does not make sense. – linagee Jan 23 '16 at 23:48
  • I agree with you. As well, there's the internet to prove that it was in use by millions of peope - yet, they're filing patents... so blockchain itself can't be patented, but new technology surrounding it can be - coindesk.com/8-companies-that-have-filed-crypto-patents – high110 Jan 24 '16 at 0:00
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    I don't see why the question is being downvoted. The asker is not proposing to patent DAPPs, he's asking if there is a need to (for a valid reason IMO). – Joël Jan 24 '16 at 1:55
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    @Joël - "Should" and "Useful" don't mean anything without additional context. A more useful question might be something like "I'm starting a company that's creating a Dapp that does X, will a patent cause me to be more profitable" Or, "I'm creating an open-source dapp to decentralize voting. What measures can I take to avoid costly legal battles around IP?" – Matt Jan 24 '16 at 9:23

DApps should be open source, else they could not be verified or trusted. And open source is not just a term. And it is no synonym for 'free for all'. You have to correctly license your code.

Open source licenses aren't just about giving you the freedom to use, study, improve, and distribute the software. Most modern open source licenses -- especially the Mozilla Public License, the GNU GPLv3, and the Apache Software License -- incorporate some form of reciprocal patent agreement. (Source)

In addition, publishing open source software does not mean you give up ownership or copyright.

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    Appreciate your answer, but I'm looking for answer with respect to patents of new technology or processes. – high110 Jan 24 '16 at 0:34

As I know, Also many Patent developer, BoA patents are can't influence already opensourced DAPP and Architecture. They may be modified and forked concept and developed patent. In this case, Already opensourced material will be protect their patent. and If they make their own technology based on their patents, they drive their architecture to other commercial with very little license fee on beginning.

But, They attack the other company of based on already opensourced, which prior to time. also we can protect their attack. and defeat and kill their patents if they adapted concept from opensourced before patenting.

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