How Long Does It Take to Get US Software Patents?

In this article, we’ll explore how long it takes to obtain US software patents and some of the challenges that you may face in the process. Next, we’ll cover the process of examining software for patent eligibility and how to estimate the time it takes to get a patent for your software. Then we’ll move on to discuss how to evaluate software for patent eligibility and the challenges that you will face if you’re not familiar with the process.

17 years

US software patents last for seventeen years, or roughly three decades. Before June 8, 1995, patents in this country were granted for seventeen years. Now, they last for twenty years. To determine the length of your patent, find the earliest filing date and the grant date of the patent. In many cases, the earlier the filing date, the longer the term will be. In many cases, the longer the term, the more valuable the patent.

The US patent term is based on the earliest effective filing date. As of May 13, 2015, there were only 174 software patents in existence. Those patents are all alive today, but they all had been filed before that date. For those of you who are interested in learning more about how long US software patents last, check out this useful guide from the USPTO. The process is the same for both design and software patents.

US software patents last seventeen years. This period starts from the date of filing. A design patent has a shorter term, 15 years. And a utility patent, which is a more practical invention, lasts for 20 years. In many cases, a patent term can be extended for a year, or more. The patent term is calculated based on the priority filing date of the earliest non-provisional application in a chain of parentage.

The term of a US software patent is fifteen years, but that period is shortened to 17 years with the application of terminal disclaimers. Moreover, patent term is governed by the corresponding date in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. While US software patents typically last 17 years, some patent holders can file a terminal disclaimer after the patent term expires. However, these patents can still be a useful tool for your company’s business.

Challenges to getting a software patent

A software patent may be the most lucrative option for an innovator, but it can be a costly process. Patent eligibility is determined by the technical details of an invention, so if your invention is vague, it’s likely to be deemed an abstract idea. To avoid this classification, focus your description on specific computing technologies. In some cases, software developers can write around the patent in various ways, but it’s impossible to avoid key patents entirely.

Patents should not be granted for an obvious idea or practice. In fact, the USPTO routinely stifles innovation by granting patents for non-novel ideas. In addition, software patents may be rejected if they don’t meet the “written description” requirement. Most software patents only describe abstract goals and vague techniques. In these cases, the patentee must disclose how to implement the invention.

Finding the correct patent to protect your invention is crucial. Software patents should be as specific as possible and describe how your software improves the performance of computers. A patented program may improve computer functionality, require less resources or solve a computing challenge in an unconventional way. Ultimately, you should be able to protect your work against infringement if you’ve developed a unique feature. Just be sure to keep these in mind while writing your software.

Another challenge to getting a software patent is that a modern software package can contain thousands of separate patentable processes. Many of these processes may infringe upon existing patents. Because software functions are tightly integrated, it can be difficult to remove them. Moreover, it can be difficult to recompile the new program using an existing patent. It is also possible for the patented function to be generalized to other ideas.

Examining software for patent eligibility

Examining software for patent eligibility may not always be straightforward. In addition to the traditional patent eligibility test, examiners may also consider the technical contribution of software to a broader invention. Examples include a self-referential lookup table, a method for optimizing a database system’s memory configuration, or software for archiving digital images over a cellular network. Registrar’s Decision represents a major departure from the traditional view of examiners that software-related inventions are ineligible.

The AIA was signed into law by President Obama in 2013, and it is the most significant patent reform since 1836. This new law permits third parties to submit prior art, addressing the overwhelming volume of prior art and innumerable sources. One of the biggest challenges is identifying relevant prior art. Software, especially software written for the general public, is often the subject of prior art. The AIA aims to alleviate this problem and allows patent applicants to claim software based on its usefulness, rather than its functional or aesthetic qualities.

Software that improves computer functionality, such as spreadsheets and web browsers, is also patent-eligible. However, patent eligibility is based on the “technical improvement” requirement. While the rule is vague, it can be useful when analyzing software applications. The challenge is to clearly identify the technical improvement and make the nexus between the claims and the technical improvement. This can be a difficult challenge if the claim description does not sufficiently describe the technical improvement.

In addition to the requirements for patent eligibility, software inventions can also satisfy statutory subject matter objections. For example, in a software patent application, the software should be used to implement an algorithm for a particular task. However, the scope of the claim should be narrow enough so that it does not fall outside of the patentability requirements. Applicants must be mindful of this requirement. Further, software inventions may be related to a broader field of technology, such as the computer industry.

Time it takes to get a software patent

How long does it take to get a US software patent? The average time taken to obtain a software patent varies, depending on the type of patent and the complexity of the invention. Utility patents typically last 20 years from the date of filing, while design patents are limited to 15 years from the date of issuance. The entire process of getting a software patent can take between three and five years.

It’s important to understand that there are several ways to speed up the process. For example, a high-traffic area can take almost twice as long. The time to obtain a patent in such an area will also require special documents. Moreover, there are several appeals you can file, which can add an extra year and additional fees. Winning an appeal is not guaranteed. Moreover, the application process takes a minimum of 21 months.

In order to expedite the process, you can submit your application through the USPTO’s fast-track program. Under this program, your application will be examined by an examiner within four to six months. During this time, the USPTO will require you to pay a higher fee than standard patent applications. However, your application will be more likely to be granted if you meet certain conditions.

The process of obtaining a US software patent is lengthy, but it can be expedited by filing a software patent application as early as possible. Once you’ve filed your application, the USPTO will send your patent application to an art group, a special team of examiners. It can take three months to a year for the application to be approved or rejected. If your application is non-compliant, the USPTO will issue an “Office Action” stating that the application is not compliant, which is a list of objections to the claims and formalities.

Issues with software patents

This article explores issues with software patents and offers some solutions. Software patents are an unjustified form of patent, which prevents innovation, kills competition, and generates undeserved royalties. In this article, I’ll describe how software patents violate the right bargain, explore possible solutions, and argue that software patents should be prohibited. We may consider streamlining the patent process, making it more difficult to get software innovations patented, and shortening the patent period from 20 to ten years.

While software patents are often used to restrict innovation, they can also protect an important part of a startup’s product. While they may be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to obtain, software patents offer the potential to limit competitors. While there are issues with software patents, they should be considered for a startup before filing for one. There are other considerations, such as funding and time required for a successful software patent application.

While the benefits of software patents are real, they are relatively small. Before software became patentable, software was written for all sorts of purposes. Today, more software is written. Software patents are making it harder to write the next piece of software, which is arguably less valuable and more dangerous. Ultimately, the benefits of software patents are modest, and their main disadvantage is that they hamper innovation. They also discourage the next generation of software.

In 1972, the US Supreme Court addressed the question of software patents in Gottschalk v. Benson. In that case, the court decried attempts to patent an algorithm. It determined that a mathematical formula is not patentable. Similarly, a software patent cannot be granted if it merely embodies an abstract idea. Thus, a patentable algorithm cannot be protected as an abstract idea, which is the underlying principle of software patent law.