Meanwhile, what should the folks who have this PA pending @ USPTO
do in order to make it difficult for competitors to copy or get in?
Buy all of them out and slap em all with NDAs? :)
Seriously, Im not sure what this has to do with legal, once the paperwork has been filed, but I dont play a lawyer on TV or anywhere else.
From where I sit, you either release the software, or you wait.
In the case of the former, be the best vendor you can be to those clients, offering more value than anyone else, shipping the best product you can ship, providing the best support you can offer.
Of course, that has nothing to do with whether you have a patent or not, but it has everything to do with becoming competitive, much less remaining that way. A patent isnt going to protect a poorly run vendor for long.
In the case of the latter, seems to me that it makes competing easier for others by filing and then sitting on it. Additionally, consider that the prospective clients are not restricted by the patent from finding a solution to their problem.