Can You Patent an Algorithm Design?
Can you patent an algorithm design? While algorithm designs are abstract ideas and cannot be patented as a separate concept, software processes underlying an algorithm can be patented. For example, Apple is able to sell 2 billion iPhones this year because its supply chain is so complex. This complex process is the key to its success. However, not all algorithms are patentable. There are exceptions to the abstract idea exception and some examples of algorithms that may be patentable.
In October 2017, the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for the RSA algorithm. Developed by three cryptographers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the RSA algorithm is used to protect many of the most common internet technologies, including the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) standard. Patenting the RSA algorithm was the first step in preventing the development of similar algorithms. Now, a company has filed a patent for the RSA algorithm, claiming that the work is not public knowledge.
A RSA Security company has released the RSA algorithm patent, which is responsible for the locks on Web browsers. MIT had originally filed the patent for the RSA algorithm, but RSA Security licensed the patent. This patent was due to expire on Wednesday, so RSA Security released its claim early to counter misinformation. Despite the early release, RSA will still sell BSAFE cryptographic software. Critics have lamented the patent’s monopoly over the security industry.
The RSA algorithm has two methods of encryption: the first method uses a secret key to transmit a message, while the second method checks the message by a public key. The calculations used in each method are the same, except that the two methods are in reverse order. That way, any attacker can’t guess the algorithm and decrypt the message. In addition, the RSA algorithm is a great tool for protecting financial data, including private data.
Although RSA was developed with government funds, it was published in a scientific journal, which means that the government shouldn’t have patented the algorithm. The patent doesn’t cover government implementations, and the invention spurred further development and invention of other encryption algorithms such as PGP. If a company can’t patent a certain algorithm, it’s best to use the public key. So, don’t let patents prevent you from developing a good cryptographic algorithm.
The MIT trio patented the RSA algorithm in the US, which became the world’s most widely used public key encryption system. The RSA algorithm works by allowing a user to create a public key based on two prime numbers, which can be used by anyone to encrypt a message. To decrypt a message, all you need is the two prime numbers. The RSA method was an improvement on earlier systems, as it didn’t rely on parties sharing a secret key.
Exceptions to the abstract idea exception
In some cases, an algorithm may be patented if it embodies an abstract idea. In the example of a patent in Yu v. Microsoft, the court found that the claim did not cite an abstract idea, but instead cites a new device. A new device is an abstract idea unless the claim identifies the particular method used to take the two pictures. It is possible that an algorithm is embodied in a method, but the invention is still a new device.
Typically, algorithms do not qualify as laws of nature, natural phenomena, or other patentable subject matter. However, the legal system has identified exceptions to the abstract idea exception that may allow an algorithm to qualify as patentable subject matter. The exception must be tied to an underlying element that amounts to a significantly different amount than an abstract idea. If the algorithm contains these elements, it may be categorized as a useful invention and protected as a patent.
The Benson case, for example, found that a mathematical algorithm can be an abstract idea if it is performed mentally, but it can also qualify as an abstract idea. The Federal Circuit held that a mathematical algorithm that involves a computer network is not an abstract idea because it can be carried out by a person without the use of machinery. Therefore, this case has implications for algorithm patents.
Another example of an algorithm that does not fall into this category is the Bilski case. In Bilski, the claim claimed an abstract idea: the concept of anonymous loan shopping. This is an abstract idea because it is something that can be performed by a human without a computer. Moreover, the Federal Circuit ruled that the claims were directed to an abstract idea of voting. While it may be possible for a computer to perform such a function, it would still not qualify as an abstract idea.
The Federal Circuit’s Benson and Flook case has raised the question of whether specific information-processing algorithms can qualify as patents after Alice. The underlying principles of Alice make Benson and Flook a crucial issue in future SS 101 jurisprudence. The Federal Circuit caselaw is inconsistent with the caselaw in Bilski, so Benson and Flook are both important cases.
Examples of algorithms that may be patentable
While some people refer to these types of computations as algorithms, they are not patent-eligible under patent law. For example, algorithms for hedging investment risk are not patent-eligible because they are not tied to the functionality of the computer. For example, algorithms that use a graphics processing unit or central processing unit do not necessarily have any real-world impact. But, if a company can come up with a new way to use a straightforward computational tool, it may be eligible under patent law.
In addition to software, algorithms can be broken down into a series of steps, mathematical processes, or computer programs. Algorithms cannot be patented directly, but their steps are. However, algorithms used in software may be patentable as long as they can describe how to solve a real-world problem. Examples of algorithms that may be patentable are:
- The PageRank algorithm is one well-known algorithm. It powered the Google search engine. This algorithm was patented in 1999 and assigned to Stanford University, where the creator of the technology, Larry Page, was pursuing his PhD. After studying at Stanford University, Page sold the patent to Google for 338 million dollars. However, the patenting rights on PageRank algorithm have expired, as of the year 2019.
While some algorithms are not patent-eligible, some medtech innovations may still attract a patent. While the majority of algorithms may not be patent-eligible, it is worth exploring the options and ensuring that your innovations are protected. These algorithms can create the foundation of a successful company. In order to obtain patent protection for your algorithm, you should consult a patent attorney. These professionals can explain how to patent algorithms in an application for software.
The United States Patent Office has issued guidelines for algorithm patentability. According to the guidelines, new machine learning technologies may be patent-eligible. These techniques may include new feature vectors or datasets studied by a neural network, or new training datasets. The algorithms may be computer-based, but the technology may not be directly related to any other field. That means competitors are free to develop a competing product.
Exceptions to the run length test
There are a number of different ways to prove that two algorithms are equivalent to one another. Computer scientists may call two algorithms equivalent if they produce the same output or input. They may also consider computing times and memory requirements, but they may not consider equivalence between claims and descriptions. In such cases, arguments for non-equivalence can be useful. If an algorithm is not equivalent to an expression, it is more likely that its code will violate another’s patent.