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Submission + - Should a startup protect "IP"?

SonOfLilit writes: "I'm an 18 year old student thinking about forming a startup around software ideas.

Now, I'm online enough to know all the talk pro- and con- patents and especially those involving software.

I've also read claims that patents are important to software startups and claims that patents are insignificant to software startups and claims that although they are significant, anything that doesn't work without them isn't good enough.

My current view is that patents are essential in the current patent-based market, but my web conscience is bugging me.

What do you think, /.? Should a software startup apply for patents on it's ideas?

PS. I'm not referring to patents like 'triply linked list', more to patents like 'software application to increase your investment profits by saving the Africans from aids'."

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