You may be wondering if you can patent your software ideas, especially if you haven’t yet developed a working prototype. There are several ways to increase your chances of patentability. You may want to generalize your problem statement to cover a wider range of applications. The more important your issue is, the more likely your patent application will be valuable. To further solidify your confidence, you can discuss the problem with patent lawyers who are subject matter experts in software technology.

If you’ve had an idea for software, but don’t know how to patent it, then this article is for you. In this article, we’ll discuss what a patent application looks like, the requirements for filing a provisional application, and the costs involved.

When you’re patenting software ideas, you need to include the right amount of technical detail to protect your idea. You don’t want to patent an idea that doesn’t have much use to people. But if you’re not sure what that technical detail is, read on. You’ll be glad you did. Read on to discover how to protect your idea.


First, be sure that your idea has a business case. This means it must benefit customers in some way. If your idea involves an insulin pump, for example, it might be worth patenting. And if it’s a connected car, it might be worth patenting. A connected car could use the software to help predict potential road accidents or determine whether a driver is drowsy. Whatever the case, you should be sure that your idea is unique.

Next, you should search to see if your idea has already been published by others, sold, or is publicly available.  Then you should learn about the ban on abstract ideas and how to navigate around the abstract idea rejection.  We will also discuss novelty and obviousness considerations next. Listed below are some of the most important considerations when patenting software ideas.

Searching for prior art

When you’re developing a new software or hardware product, search for existing patents to make sure your product is not already covered. This process has many advantages and benefits, depending on your company’s size, technology focus, and commercialization stage. Patent searches can help you expand your innovative concept and find new markets and revenue opportunities. They can also significantly reduce the costs of research and development if you are aware of what prior inventors have solved the issue. This allows for a faster time to market commercialization and a higher return on investment.

In addition to reducing costs, patent searching can help you perform landscape and patent mapping exercises. In addition, these tools can help you understand your competitive environment and provide insights into your competitors. A thorough search can reveal opportunities that you never even imagined existed. As long as you use a comprehensive patent database, you’ll have a solid foundation for your product development. And because patent searches can reveal new opportunities to your company, they’re well worth the time investment.

A quality search for patents will give you a good idea of what’s available in the market and which examples are patent-worthy. Remember, to receive a patent, your software must be novel, interactive, and enhance computer performance in a unique way.

You can also find out if the software has been patented elsewhere. Patent searches help you determine whether or not your product idea has been patented before. Patents may also have been filed for similar software or hardware in other countries. Because patents are classified differently, semantic searches are easier to conduct than technical searches and Boolean search operators. This allows you to focus on the details of your invention, instead of getting confused with a patent-related jargon.

By conducting a patent search before starting your product development, you’ll be better equipped to protect your invention and stay on top of your competition. Depending on the software invention, this search can help you decide whether to file a patent application or not.

There are several ways to find patents for software inventions. The preliminary search can be performed using the internet. The USPTO Web site has basic search tools and a tutorial that will teach you how to conduct a search. You can also visit your local USPTO Patent and Trademark Resource Center or library to view related training materials. Some materials are only available via online connection in the library while others can be checked-out for reading at home.

You’ll also want to learn about free tools and strategies to help you locate existing patents. The USPTO website offers free patent information. Unlike other patent databases, the USPTO is easy to navigate and has a great Help Section to help you learn the ins and outs of patent searching. Another free site to explore is Google patents at .

Alternatively, once you have decided which method is right for your software invention, you can hire a patent attorney to conduct a thorough search.

Scope of applicability

There are several common questions about the scope of applicability of software patents, and the answers are not all that different from those for other subject matter. The first question is: are software related inventions patentable? Whether a software invention is patentable is a highly technical matter, so the question is not so simple as one might think. Software-related inventions, however, require more disclosure than other types of patents, and this is the main reason that many European patents cover software-related inventions.

The “something more” part of a software patent claim is what makes it a patented process. While algorithmic processes aren’t patentable on their own, they can be combined with other steps to create a patentable process. The software process itself should be novel. This means that the software innovation should describe a process in a computer, not just an algorithm. And the process itself should be described in terms of metrics.

To qualify for patent protection for software-related inventions, a software product must have at least two important characteristics: a written description and enablement. These two requirements apply to all types of inventions, including software. Unlike hardware-related inventions, however, software products should be accompanied by a written description and an enablement. Whether a software application is patentable depends on how well the software enables its users to do their jobs.

In contrast, software-related inventions can be claimed as “means-plus-function” element in software patents.  Such means claim cover the structure disclosed in the detailed description corresponding to the function in the “means for” language, and for software the structure is typically the code or the data structure or transition table to implement the function, among others. For example, a software program can be categorized as an algorithm if it uses an algorithm to process data. However, the WMS rule requires that the algorithm be described in the terms “algorithm” and “function.” While these terms are similar, they are not completely interchangeable, and the same result should be achieved.

Can you patent abstract ideas?

Many people wonder: Can you patent a software idea? The answer depends on whether it is an algorithm, formula, or business method. While raw abstract ideas are not patentable, they can be patented if they meet certain requirements.  Next, we’ll discuss the criteria for patenting your idea. Even if your software ideas are potentially abstract, that doesn’t mean you cannot patent your idea. Here are some of the requirements for patenting an algorithm, formula, or business method.

Patent-eligibility for software inventions is dependent on the way the idea is described in the patent. To improve your chances, you can describe the engineering solutions to the problem in detail. Lastly, claim your software invention carefully. While you should discuss every method of removing a pain point, your claims should be targeted and not pre-empt the field as such broad claims are likely to be invalidated under Section 101.

Instead, refine your claims to the specific pain point you’re targeting and the specificity of how you did it. You can always file a number of independent claims to cover Patent eligibility alternative solutions to keep out the competition from the easiest way to implement the solution. This way, you’ll be able to get your software invention the protection it deserves.

There are several hurdles to overcome when it comes to patenting abstract ideas, and these hurdles originate from the United States Supreme Court decision about patent eligibility in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014). This case is an important one for all of us.  In this case, a software implementation of an escrow arrangement was not patent eligible because it is an implementation of an abstract idea. Escrow is not a new concept, and merely using a computer system to manage escrow debts does not imbue patentability to the software.

First, the software idea needs to solve a problem “necessarily rooted” in computer technology. But it needs to do it in a way that avoids preempting any application of the idea. Furthermore, the idea must be new and unconventional. Therefore, if this idea is truly abstract, it may not qualify for a patent. Moreover, patenting an idea that is too abstract or “abstract” will likely lead to the invention’s rejection.

In a nutshell, patenting abstract ideas for software involves creating new ways to run computer programs. Whether the idea is a software program or a mathematical algorithm used in business practices, it must be “necessarily rooted” in computer technology, solve a problem, and have claims that do not preempt every use of the idea. This type of patent isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.

Although the US Supreme Court ruling in Alice does not directly attack software patents, it does make it harder for patenting weak ideas for software. A mistake in describing or claiming an idea could doom an otherwise meritorious patent application. A knowledgeable patent attorney can keep this in mind and help you write a stronger application. For software, an experienced attorney will be able to make sure the idea is truly patentable.

Several recent cases of software patenting have affirmed that the test for patenting abstract ideas is not confined to computer-implemented business methods or financial transactions. It even applies to network-controlled electric car charging stations and garage door openers. The case cited in Alice was a landmark decision on the issue but its did not draw clear boundaries for patent eligibility and thus there are calls for Congress to fix the problems raised by the Alice case.

The first step in the patent analysis is to determine whether your software is directed to an abstract idea. Abstract ideas include the fundamental economic practices of human beings, mathematical ideas, and concepts themselves. Most business method-based software inventions fall under this category.

The second step is to determine if the invention limits the implementation of the abstract idea to a particular technology that enhances the processing performance in some way. You can also avoid the abstract idea trap by focusing your discussion on how the invention enhances the function of a computer.

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 patent adds “something extra” that embodies an inventive concept.  This is where the claimed invention focuses on the implementation of the abstract idea with a particular technology and where the court considers whether the claimed invention advances the function of a computer.

The analysis should determine whether the patent claim under examination contains an abstract idea, such as an algorithm, method of computation, or other general principles. If not, the claim is potentially patentable, subject to the other requirements of the patent code. If there is an abstract idea in the first step, the court must determine whether the patent adds to the idea “something extra” that embodies an “inventive concept.”

If there is no addition of an inventive element to the underlying abstract idea, the court should find the patent invalid under § 101. This means that the implementation of the idea must not be generic, conventional, or obvious, if it is to qualify for a patent.  Here, simply providing a generic computer implementation would not to transform an abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.   For example:

  • A mere instruction to implement an abstract idea on a computer “cannot impart patent eligibility.”
  • “Mere recitation of a generic computer cannot transform a patent-ineligible abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.”
  •  “Stating an abstract idea ‘while adding the words “apply it”‘ is not enough for patent eligibility.”
  •  “Nor is limiting the use of an abstract idea to a particular technological environment.”

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. This patent was subsequently invalidated.

Next we discuss

Functional claiming

A functional claim in a patent solves the problem with purely functional steps. This type of patent claim will most likely be rejected because the claim encompasses every possible application of the idea. Further, a functional patent claim fails to describe the software’s underlying coding without specificity as to 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 and the claims should provide specifics as to how the invention works.  The description should elaborate on how the invention improves or enhances computer performance.

Formulas and Scientific processes

Patents are only granted for new and useful inventions. Abstract ideas and natural objects are not patentable. For example, mathematical formulas fall under the category of abstract intellectual concepts. You should not file claims that only recite the math, but recite how the math is integrally tied to the computer or hardware to show the inventive steps that the USPTO is looking for.

When you think about computer programs and software, you probably think of a scientific process, and you wonder if you can patent it. However, patenting a mental process is not as easy as it sounds. After all, a mental process is a subjective decision, and judgment calls can’t be taught. The best way to protect such an idea is to write a patent application describing how it works.


One reason for this is the fact that algorithms do not qualify as laws of nature or natural phenomena. Thus, they are abstract ideas. But the legal system has found exceptions to this rule. In order for an algorithm to qualify as patentable subject matter, it must be tied to other elements that make it significantly different from the abstract idea itself. For example, if an algorithm identifies spoken words without having to be “waked up” by the user, it may qualify as patentable subject matter.

A software algorithm can be described by mathematical steps, procedures, or steps that explain how to solve a real-world problem. Although algorithms cannot be patented in their abstract form, they are still eligible for patents, particularly if they represent a new method of solving a problem. It is important to remember that a patent will not protect the algorithm itself, but it will protect the algorithm’s business model and market niche.

There are several important factors to consider when patenting algorithms for software ideas. First, it must be a novel idea. A software algorithm may be broken down into a series of mathematical steps, procedures, or steps. This type of invention is not patented, but it can be used to solve a real-world problem. The next factor to consider is the practical application of the algorithm. It must be a novel method or system, rather than merely a mathematical formula.

In order to be patentable, an algorithm must have a novel and inventive feature. To meet the criteria, an algorithm must be non-obvious, useful in a particular context, and contribute something new and valuable. The patent office will define the specific criteria for determining whether an algorithm is patentable. Algorithms are an integral part of our computerized society, and patenting them is essential to its future.

While obtaining a software patent is difficult, many companies have found success in increasing their IP portfolio by developing proprietary algorithms. A few of these inventions have become patent-worthy, including speech recognition, image processing, physiological profile creation, and advertising results improvements. This success has helped small and large companies alike get their ideas patented.

Can you patent a business method?

In the old days, you can get business methods such as Amazon’s one-click business method patented.  After Bilski and Alice decisions, such applications will be scrutinized under Section 101 for eligible patent subject matter.

A business method patent can be challenging to obtain, but it’s not impossible. In the United States, business methods are regarded as inventions. However, the patentability of a business method has changed since 2002 when the Bilski v. Kappos decision wiped out the “business method” exception that ruled that no method of doing business was patentable. While this ruling was initially very limiting, it has since become the norm.

While software is generally protected under the US Patent and Trademark Office, a business method patent can be valuable. These patents allow software developers to protect their innovations and prevent competitors from copying them. A business method patent can protect a unique piece of software, a new product, or an entire business.

When considering whether your software idea is a business method, consider its useability. It must meet a low threshold for usefulness. You must be able to show that it produces a concrete result. Also, it must be novel and non-obvious, which are two requirements for patenting a business method.

It is important to make sure your idea is unique and novel, as this can help your application receive a higher patent value. Then, you must make sure the written description conveys what your software idea is really all about.

To be eligible for patent protection, your software idea must solve a significant computing challenge. It also must focus on its technical underpinnings. Many developers of software discourage software patenting because they fear it will hinder future innovations and discoveries in computer ideas. The process of patenting software is not difficult, however. Break down your algorithm into steps, and then show how it solves a real-world problem.

Providing a technical implementation of how the software performs a task would pass the Alice test

In the United States, the patent examiners follow the Alice framework when analyzing a patent application. These courts typically analyze software-related inventions under the abstract idea exception. While laws of nature and other natural phenomena are abstract ideas, these concepts are rarely used in software-related inventions. Therefore, patents that describe how software performs a task or performs a particular function and how that software improves system performance  would probably pass the Alice test.

The Alice inquiry asks whether the claimed improvements are “directed to” a specific concept or “technical implementation.” Providing a technical implementation of how the software performs a task would pass the Alice test. This approach is useful in patent prosecution and would help software patentability.

In a recent case, the Federal Circuit has recognized the need for a technological/inventive step to qualify a software patent. The Enfish court explained that claims in this case did not merely describe a computer algorithm. In that case, the software claimed was a technical implementation of how the software performs a task.  This approach requires a patentee to describe in depth a technical implementation of the software.

The Alice test has created a framework that helps examiners evaluate the novelty of a software application. This framework has helped patent eligibility cases while also creating confusion and controversy, leading to calls for Congressional reform of the patent law. If a software application meets the Alice test, it would be deemed patent-eligible. If not, it would not be considered patent-eligible. It is vital to be aware of the Alice test and its limitations before filing a patent application.

Providing a technical implementation of how the software performs a task would pass the Unitary Patent System proposal for the EU

A proposed EU patent system provides that a patent that is granted for a software implementation must be available in English and at least one other official language. This approach would have some drawbacks. It would require patent holders to pursue litigation in each country, and could potentially lead to inconsistency between decisions made by different national courts.

The European Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the EU patent proposal on 17 December 2012 and agreed to make it a unitary patent. The regulations approved by the European Parliament and Council would be valid in at least 17 EU member states. Italy and Spain resisted the idea for political reasons, but they eventually agreed to participate. The UK will not participate, because it left the EU.

In addition to these benefits, the Unitary Patent System proposal for the EU would be compatible with international law. Patents based on software implementations that provide a technical implementation of how the software performs a task would pass the Unitary Patent System proposal for the EU. The proposed patent system is set to enter into force in the EU by 2022.

Under the proposed EU patent system, a computer software application must provide a technical implementation of how the software perform a task. Such patents would be granted in English, but only in those jurisdictions where the language of the patent grant is the official language. If the software complies with the proposed rules, providing a technical implementation of how the software performs a task would pass the proposal for the EU unitary patent system.

The UPC is made up of panels of internationally appointed judges with both legal and technical expertise. A committee of participating member states would nominate a panel of judges, with some candidates already highly qualified while others would need further training. A group of these candidates has completed its first two training modules and now will serve as interns at European patent courts.

In the EU, you will need to establish that the software claimed has an inventive step, which is a technical characteristic. The claim must go beyond ordinary interactions between a computer and its program. In some cases, the claimed solution may improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process or strengthen the security of the communication channel. Other times, the claim may protect the boot integrity of a computer.

While there are several important reasons for ensuring that the invention you submit for a patent has an ‘inventive’ step, the main one is to protect the inventor’s ideas. Patent rights protect individuals’ ideas that go beyond the obvious and allow them to make money from them. These rights are given to those who are able to prove that the new technology they created is better than what someone else has already created.

The next step in determining whether a software program is patentable is to establish a clear and convincing idea about how the product or method will be used. This is done by examining the patent claim’s claims and making sure they are based on an idea that is “abstractly obvious.” If an invention is “inherently obvious,” it must also be useful to the intended audience. A hypothetical computer program will not do this, so it is unlikely to be patentable.

Ultimately, patentability requires a solution to a problem. This can be achieved through a combination of technical knowledge and a review of existing literature. If an existing solution exists, it is not considered a valid invention. If the new solution is better, it will qualify as an “inventive step.”

There’s More Than Just Abstract Idea Considerations


Patent attorneys must consider non-obviousness when deciding whether an invention is patentable. This is a tricky concept that is often subject to interpretation and debate. An experienced patent attorney can help you determine whether your invention is truly novel. To begin with, it is necessary to identify the exact identity of your invention. This relates to whether the combination of prior art is obvious. The next step is to determine whether the combination is novel.

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.

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?

To be patentable, a new software innovation must not be obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art at the time of filing. The standard of non-obviousness is not a simple one, but it is critical in determining whether a piece of software is truly innovative. An experienced patent practitioner can help you decide whether a software invention is novel and patentable. So how do you overcome non-obviousness when patenting software?

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.

There are many ways to overcome the obviousness requirement in a patent application. First, the claimed invention must be useful. Second, it must not be obvious to combine a prior art item and an existing product. An example of a prior art combination would be combining two patents in the same field as the invention to meet the claim limitations.  To oppose such a combination, the invention can see if the references show each element of the claim, and if not point out the differences.  Further, the inventor can argue based on the details that the combination would not be operative or would not work, or that the references themselves points away from the propriety of the combination. That will be the most effective defense against an obviousness rejection.


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.

Getting a 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.

Another important factor in software patentability is patent writing. Describe how you solved an engineering problem with your software, which increases your chances of obtaining a patent. Carefully consider the claims that describe your invention. While you do not need to claim every method of relieving the pain point, you need to claim a method that solves the problem at hand. You will need to be creative and specific in order to ensure that you get a patent for your software idea.

If your software idea is technically implemented, it can pass the Alice test. In other words, it can be argued that it is an implementation of an abstract idea rather than an abstract concept. In addition, you can also make a claim based on a conventional argument, such as improving a specific technology or computer function.

While most software inventions are eligible for utility patent protection, the requirements for obtaining a patent on software can be tricky. Utility patents require that the invention be patent eligible, 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.

Next we will discuss the differences in provisional and non-provisional software patent applications.  A provisional patent application is an informal tool to get basic protection for one year.  It will expire unless you convert the provisional into a non-provisional patent application within one year.  If converted in a timely manner, the non-provisional (also referred to as a utility patent application) will mature into an issued patent after examination at the patent office.  In contrast, a provisional patent application simply provides a priority date for the non-provisional application and will lapse within one year automatically.

How to prepare a utility software patent application

Utility patents cover the design and function of the new software invention. If your software 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, namely 20 years from filing, and for rapidly evolving software technology that is eons of time.

When preparing for a patent application for your software idea, there are a few key elements to consider. The patent claims should be specific and detailed, and should describe your idea in detail. These claims can be written as separate systems or methods, and can also be broken down into independent and dependent claims. It is important to explain the logic behind your idea so that others cannot steal it. You should create a flow chart for your application that shows how the idea works.

When describing your invention, make sure to be clear on what makes the idea a “software product.” Depending on the nature of your software, you may be able to patent the idea as an “abstract idea” if it solves a problem that is “necessarily rooted” in computer technology. You also want to make sure that your claims are not so general that they preempt every application of the idea.

While it is possible to patent software ideas that are not directly related to the software industry, it is important to keep in mind that your invention may be co-authored by other people. Documenting this co-authorship will make it easier to track down any other individuals who may be involved in the development of the product. If you are not sure, seek the advice of a patent attorney. You can also consult Patent PC, an attorney that is available to assist you in preparing a patent application for your software ideas. However, if you have a question about the patent ownership, you may want to discuss it with your attorney.

A patent grant provides protection and exclusivity after the invention has been released in the market. Moreover, once the patent is issued, you can send awareness letters to your competitors and claim compensation from the date of first publication.

Patent examiners use the Alice framework to evaluate whether a software invention can be patented. Alice considers laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas when making decisions about patent eligibility. It is important to note that these laws are most relevant to computer-implemented inventions and software.

Although software inventions are often considered “abstract ideas,” they can qualify for patent protection if they solve a problem “necessarily rooted in computer technology.” To be eligible for a patent, software must be designed and implemented in a way that is radically different from current software. Further, claims must not preempt all other applications in the field.

Cost of filing a utility software patent application

The cost of a software patent application is higher than other kinds of patent applications, and this is because of its inherent complexity. A simple software idea can cost as low as $7,500, while a complex invention can cost as much as $18,000 as of 2022. Biochemical and medical inventions tend to run in the same range as a software patent application. If you aren’t sure what kind of patent application you should submit, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in this field.  Ultimately, this cost will depend on the complexity of your software idea and whether you want to pursue a patent application.

There are two parts to a software patent application. The first part is the prior art search, which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000. This step will identify published patent applications and similar issued patents. It can also reveal any barriers to registration. The results of the search can inform the next steps, as well as how much protection your software idea has already received. The attorney responsible for this step will charge a fee, and you will typically have to pay this amount to them.

The cost of a software patent application is higher than other kinds of patent applications, and this is because of its inherent complexity. A simple software idea can cost as low as $7,500, while a complex invention can cost as much as $17,500. Biochemical and medical inventions tend to run in the same range as a software patent application. If you aren’t sure what kind of patent application you should submit, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in this field.

Another component of the cost of a software patent is the time required for it to be approved. A software patent can take a decade to receive final approval. Using an experienced patent attorney can help you secure a license to your invention sooner. Similarly, a software patent can protect a business model or a user interface. If a software patent is issued, the software developer will get its full value sooner rather than later.

If you are concerned about cost, one way is to find law firms that will accept equity in lieu of cash payment for their work. Typically out of pocket expenses such as USPTO fees are not covered by these arrangements.  For the right startup with traction, firms such as Patent PC can accept equity, so talk to your lawyer.

Requirements for filing a provisional patent application

Application for patent with diagram and pen on desk in office +diagram is copyright free++

Filing a provisional patent application for your software idea can be a great way to protect your idea while waiting for your nonprovisional paperwork to be complete. Unlike a nonprovisional patent, provisional patents grant you 12 months to protect and develop your MVP and to file your international application. Moreover, filing a provisional patent allows you to use the term “patent pending” on your product and in any correspondence with the USPTO.

A provisional patent application contains all the elements of a regular patent application, with the exception of the claims. It also requires a detailed description of the invention that would enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the product. Moreover, the written description must contain appropriate figures to support the description. It is crucial to include as many details as possible about your idea.  In general, it is best to have the provisional application be as similar to the non-provisional utility application when filed.  This is the approach taken by drug companies when each drug patent protect billions in sales over a 21 year life span: one year for the provisional coverage, and 20 years for the utility patent protection.

As mentioned above, a patent application is a lengthy process and requires a comprehensive description of how the product works. Besides, it must be original and should not be similar to existing patents in the same field. It should solve an existing problem or address an unmet need for the product. While filing a provisional patent application for your software idea, you will also need to make sure that the app is not on-sale in the marketplace as that app sale will be prior art against your own patent application in virtually all countries in the world.  In the US, there is a one year grace period so as long as you file for patent protection within one year of first sale, you are fine.

Filing a provisional patent application for a new software idea is a smart idea, but it is crucial to be aware of any existing patents before proceeding with the process. This is important because the provisional patent application is a good way to save money and work on your idea while waiting for the non-provisional patent application. The provisional application is not reviewed by the USPTO and it expires after a year.

Cost of filing a provisional patent application

A provisional patent application costs two-thirds to four-fifths of the cost of a full patent application. It gives you patent-pending status and establishes a filing date for a full patent application. In return, you get one year to develop your software and file it with the right agency. If you plan to file a provisional patent application for a software idea, you can negotiate funding to pay the remaining costs.

The cost of a provisional patent application is a significant component of the entire process. However, it is essential to understand that a provisional patent application is an extremely important legal document and requires more information than a traditional patent application. A quality provisional patent application is likely to cost more than this amount. However, if you’re ready to make a commitment and spend money, the process is well worth it.

While a software patent can be costly, it is worth it to protect your ideas against inappropriate use by competitors and position your company for better earnings. The cost of a software patent depends on how valuable it is to the company that owns the patent. For hobbyists, it may be worthwhile to apply for a provisional patent. A provisional patent application costs between $1,500 and $2,000.

Costing two-thirds to four-fifths of the cost of a full patent application, the provisional application still gives you patent-pending status and establishes a filing date for a full patent application. In return, you get one year to develop your software and file it with the right agency. If you plan to file a provisional patent application for a software idea, you can negotiate funding to pay the remaining costs.

The cost of a provisional patent application can be daunting for new entrepreneurs. However, it is essential to understand that a provisional patent application is an extremely important legal document and requires more information than a traditional patent application. A quality provisional patent application is likely to cost more than this amount. However, if you’re ready to make a commitment and spend money, the process is well worth it.


You might be wondering whether your idea for a software application is patentable. It is possible to patent such an idea if it has a clear and obvious use in a business. If your idea improves the functionality of computers or reduces the resources needed to run them, it could be patented. However, patent eligibility depends on certain factors. It is best to seek advice from an experienced attorney to determine whether or not your software idea qualifies for patent protection.

The USPTO has taken a step toward easing restrictions on software patents. However, the coming months will determine whether this change is permanent or only the start of a wider legal battle. Software patents are a murky area of patent law. If you have questions about the scope of applicability of software patents, contact a lawyer today. You can learn more about software patents by reading the remaining articles in the series.