Communications of the Association for Information Systems


A significant amount of information technology (IT) research centers on the attainment of competitive advantage through the use of IT. In many cases, the use of patents to protect that IT does not receive much attention. Often studies conclude that patent protection cannot help IT to achieve such an advantage. Our research finds that many IT researchers based these conclusions predominately on two studies that are no longer relevant. This paper reviews some of that IT research and then links that research to these two dated studies. A number of reasons why researchers may continue to use the research for support of their conclusions are put forth, including lack of knowledge, research as a lagging indicator, pressure to complete research The paper offers recommendations for improving the research efforts such as using law as a reference discipline, considering the law in the reviewing process, and including legal considerations in doctoral training. We conclude with lessons learned.