Can You Patent Computer Software?
If you are writing computer software, you are probably wondering: can you patent computer software? There are a few things you need to know before you apply for a patent. This article will cover the reasons why patent-eligible software is difficult to find and how to improve your chances of getting a patent. If you are serious about getting your software patented, you should also be aware of the cost of the process. However, if you are serious about creating a profitable business, following these steps will help you get your software protected.
Problems with obtaining a patent for computer software
A problem with obtaining a patent for computer software is that it is extremely difficult to document the exact nature of your software. While describing your computer software is essential, you should not attempt to write the code yourself. While the code is considered a language, the design and architecture of your program is equally important. An effective patent application will describe the functions of your computer code and its architecture. The next step is to find a qualified patent attorney.
Examples of patent-eligible software
One of the most common questions involving the patentability of computer software is whether a piece of software is a “patentable idea.” In examining the question, the USPTO analyzed two software claims: one recited a series of acts to determine the temperature of a mold, and the other claimed a mathematical algorithm to determine the temperature and provide that information to a computer. These software claims, however, did not satisfy the patentability test because they were “abstract” ideas.
Fortunately, there is hope for patenting software. While there are certain limitations to what qualifies as patent-eligible computer software, there are many examples of software that fall within this boundary. In Bascom v. AT&T, the patentees sought to patent a tool that could filter web content without having to install any software on the end user’s computer. This software, in contrast, did not contain any unorthodox components and the patent court found it to be patent-eligible as a whole.
Despite recent case law calling for an increasing technical requirement for patent eligibility, the USPTO has remained generous with its software patenting practice. The EPO, however, is more restrictive when it comes to eligibility. The EPO generally recognizes the distinction between “technical improvement” and “non-technical improvement.”
The process to patent software varies from country to country. While computer software may be patented in many countries, it must pass the Alice test. For example, computer software that improves computer functionality or uses fewer resources could be patented. In some cases, the software has a patentable abstract idea that solves a problem in an unconventional manner. It is important to remember that patents are only granted when the software is novel, and that many other products do not meet this requirement.
Patent-eligible computer software is difficult to develop, but there are a few ways to create and protect such work. First, it must have a technological function. The second step is to prove that the claimed invention is a functional variation of another. A patentable computer software implementation should include some of the steps necessary to create the new product. These steps must be described in great detail so that the resulting patentable computer software is a true and valuable invention.
Ways to improve your chances of getting a patent
A patent for computer software can protect a variety of innovative technologies, including algorithms, self-referential lookup tables, and archiving systems. Unlike traditional utility patents, however, computer software inventions are more likely to be patented if they solve a specific customer pain point. Listed below are some ways to improve your chances of getting a patent for computer software.
First, focus on specific technical benefits. This can be anything from improved search times for databases to smaller memory requirements for a database. Other examples might include better image-sound synchronization and more realistic expressions for animated characters. The point is to focus on a problem rather than a general improvement. In addition, your patent application should demonstrate the unique benefit of your software over other similar products in the market.
Next, your software needs to meet technical requirements. A computer software patent application must meet certain technical requirements and be properly written. The software may be patented if it improves the functionality of the computer, reduces the need for resources, or solves a computing challenge in an unconventional way. If you’re serious about getting a patent for your software, these tips are an essential first step.
Once you have written an effective patent application, there are a few important factors to consider before filing it. The first step is ensuring that your software methods are sufficiently detailed so that anyone with the necessary skills to write the program can carry out the claimed methods. If your software is not written in the appropriate programming language, you may not be able to claim patent protection. For example, if your software is written in C++, it will be able to be read by another computer.
While there are some other ways to improve your chances of getting a patent, computer software is a particularly tricky area. Software patents are often difficult to retain, but the Alice case shows that it can be done. Software patents often result in more revenue than other types of patents. Moreover, if the software is useful, it is much more likely to receive patent protection. The federal government is increasingly making software patents easier to obtain.
Cost of obtaining a patent for computer software
Patenting computer software is easier than other types of inventions, but it can still be expensive. A patent application requires two major parts: preparation and prosecution. The preparation part costs about $15,000, and the prosecution phase, with back-and-forth correspondence with the examiner, can cost up to $30,000.
There are many different ways to lower the cost of patent prosecution. Some inventors save money by performing the search themselves and others opt to hire a deep discount provider. But be wary of such providers. While they may claim to offer a cheaper service, they aren’t licensed patent attorneys or agents, and they might charge less than their fees should be. It’s best to work with a patent attorney who has a reputation for efficiency, transparency, and good communication.
Filing fees for a US patent vary significantly. The average cost for a “high-tech” invention is $50,000, according to the American Intellectual Property Legal Association’s bi-annual survey. International filings may cost tens of thousands of dollars. The biggest cost of filing a patent overseas is an annual annuity of $1000 per country. A patent that covers 190 countries may cost several hundred million dollars over its lifetime.
Filing fees vary according to whether you want to file electronically, or pay a patent attorney by mail or hand delivery. However, it is important to remember that the fees are non-refundable. Once you have filed your patent application, it’s best to pay the fees before the due date. There are late fees of $160, 80 for a micro entity, and forty dollars for a small entity.
The cost of patenting computer software depends on a variety of factors. First, the complexity of the invention. Secondly, the number of prior patents that exist in the field. The more patents that exist, the more work is required to distinguish your invention from the rest. This means that the cost of filing a patent for computer software may vary significantly. For example, if the invention is new and complex, the patenting process may take longer.