Can You Patent a Software Idea?

If you’re wondering whether you can patent a software idea, there are several steps to take. To get a patent for your software idea, it must be novel. The first step is to ask yourself if your idea is “obvious” or “easy.” If it is, you can’t patent it. One example of a controversial piece of software is Amazon’s one-click purchase function. In other words, your software idea must not only solve a problem but also be new.

Abstract idea

When patenting an abstract software idea, the first step is to determine if the claimed invention is directed to an abstract idea. Abstract ideas include mathematical ideas, economic principles, and methods of organizing human activities. The majority of business method-based software inventions are considered abstract ideas. The second step involves evaluating whether the claimed invention focuses on the implementation of the abstract idea with a particular technology. The third step considers whether the claimed invention advances the function of a computer.

While the USPTO has historically prohibited the issuance of patents on abstract ideas, the definition has recently expanded to include some forms of software. Because of this, inventors may not turn abstract software ideas into patentable ideas, even when they implement them in general computers. However, this prohibition is both logical and well-intended. Here are some practical examples of patentable ideas. Listed below are some of the most common examples.

A functional patent describes the problem and announces purely functional steps. It recites standard computer operations and does not have a novel or inventive concept. This type of patent will most likely be rejected because the claim cannot encompass every possible application of the idea. Further, a functional patent describes the software’s underlying coding and provides a solution to the problem. It is important to note that the patent application should be focused on the specific computing technology that is used to create the invention.

Similarly, a patent on an abstract idea does not have to involve a unique improvement in computer functionality. The claims in the case of Univ. of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. relate to a general purpose computer’s ability to store and retrieve data. It also does not describe how it would work with a specific device or method. Instead, it describes the ability to provide information to a computer that is not a general purpose computer.


Whether to pursue non-obviousness when patenting software idea or not depends on the country where you intend to file your application. While non-obviousness is often used in the United States, European patent law also uses this definition. Each country has its own approach to assessing whether a patentable idea is new and inventive. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a software idea can be patentable even if it is known to others.

Although it may seem counterintuitive to use an obvious concept to protect a new software idea, there have been numerous cases where obviousness was the main factor in granting a patent. For example, Amazon’s one-click shopping patent was obvious to the developers. Software patents can work, but only if the inventors use their common sense. This is a major flaw in the patent system, as many patents are granted on concepts that are obvious to others.

The main requirement for obtaining a patent is that your invention be new and useful. In the US, this is the main criteria for patent eligibility. However, it is important to note that the terms used in patent law have very precise definitions. While technically a software idea might be non-obvious, it might not meet the legal criteria, despite its potential usefulness. Intellectual property attorneys specialize in this field and know how to make minute distinctions when it comes to patenting software ideas.

The third eligibility requirement for claiming a patent for a software idea is non-obviousness. Non-obvious software ideas must be novel and unobvious to a person of ordinary skill in the relevant art. Often, this is a tricky task, and patent practitioners can help you make the best decision. You can then file your patent application. So, how do you go about proving your idea is new and non-obvious?


The question of the patentability of software ideas is often misunderstood. While the software industry has become increasingly diversified, the need for a patent for any new idea is still a relatively low priority. However, a software patent can be a powerful tool to protect an idea that can benefit many customers. This article examines the issue of patentability of software ideas in this context. Let’s look at some of the potential drawbacks of software patents.

The patentability of software ideas depends on several factors, the most important of which is the abstract nature of the idea. A computer-implemented idea is not likely to be patentable unless it solves a problem “necessarily rooted” in computer technology. Furthermore, the claim must not preempt all uses of the idea. In short, software ideas are not patented in every situation, so developers should be careful when formulating a patent application.

Writing a software patent proposal is an essential part of the process. Using specific examples in the patent application can enhance the likelihood of obtaining a patent. While it is impossible to patent every software idea, describing the specific process or method of relieving a customer pain point can make it patentable. When writing a software patent proposal, don’t claim every possible method of solving a customer’s problem; instead, make sure to narrowly target the invention to a single method that addresses a specific pain point.

While patents may be a great way to protect your software idea, they can also inhibit innovation. For example, the patentability of software ideas has been up for review since 1981, and the Supreme Court has yet to make a ruling in the case. However, some researchers believe that software ideas should be protected as abstract ideas based on the “particular machine” test, which could significantly narrow the scope of patentable software ideas.

Human problems

Despite popular misconception, it is possible to patent software ideas. According to software expert Terence Broderick, patent eligibility for software inventions is easy. However, it is important to be aware that patenting software requires significant financial resources. Listed below are some factors to consider when filing a patent application. These factors will help determine whether your idea qualifies for a patent. Here are three essential criteria for a software patent application.

Getting a utility patent on software

If you’re the inventor of a new piece of software or have an idea for a new app, you may be interested in getting a utility patent for your idea. However, getting a utility patent can be tricky and time-consuming. The process usually involves filing an initial application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and then paying maintenance fees over the years. In many cases, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to protect your idea.

While most software inventions are eligible for utility patent protection, the requirements for obtaining a patent are incredibly difficult to meet. Utility patents require that the invention be both new and not obvious. Because of this, many software patent applications fail to meet the criteria. In most cases, successful applications are confined to innovations that significantly improve software engineering. Therefore, if you’re looking for a patent on your idea, you’ll want to hire a patent attorney.

Utility patents cover the design and function of an item. If your invention is new and uses a new process or system, the patent will protect this new product. It also protects the methods of making that product. Many companies will pay royalties for their new products if the inventor can obtain a utility patent for them. This is the most effective way to protect your software ideas and to keep them protected. If you’re a software developer, it’s time to file for patent protection. A utility patent will protect your work for a long time.

A utility patent will protect your product from the competition. It provides exclusive protection for your product and keeps other companies from making, using, or selling it without permission. Getting a utility patent will cost you time, money, and effort. However, the protection will be worth it in the end. With utility patents, you’ll be able to protect your software for 20 years or more, which can be a long time.