If your invention is software or does not have a physical component, is it still eligible for a patent? In this article, we’ll discuss how abstract and computer software inventions qualify for patents, as well as time limits for providing software code for your invention. There are also many other important issues to consider, including whether the software you want to patent is “practically useful.”

Inventions that are abstract

The USPTO has published guidance for patent examiners on determining whether a claim is directed to a machine, composition of matter, or process. Abstract ideas may be a basic economic practice, a method of organizing human activity, or an abstract mathematical relationship. For example, a claim for a method of recording and archiving digital images could be considered abstract if the invention merely includes mathematical operations.

The USPTO has recently relaxed examination guidelines for abstract ideas. This change makes it easier to patent a business-related software-based invention. The USPTO will now grant patent protection to code that implements the invention. However, it will be up to the inventor to show that the code was not previously available. While a code-only patent application may be allowed under some circumstances, it is generally not possible to file a patent for an idea if it has no software.

Abstract ideas, such as software, may become patent-eligible when they are implemented in a computer. The USPTO views a software as a general implementation of a mental process or mathematical concept. Since an inventor cannot turn an abstract idea into a patentable idea unless he or she implements it on a general computer, the prohibition is logical and well-intended.

Patentability of a software invention depends on how easy the creator can break down the code and describe the process. This is an example of a software invention that is patented as a series of steps. An abstract idea must have additional elements to make it patent-eligible. This article has provided general guidelines for software inventors seeking patent protection. While these guidelines are not exhaustive, they will help you decide whether or not to pursue patent protection for your software-based inventions.

Software-implemented inventions that solve a problem using algorithms are considered patent-eligible. Often, these inventions involve mathematical algorithms. Oftentimes, these algorithms are used to improve the performance of computers. If these methods can be patented, they can be useful for a business. The problem with software is that the steps aren’t obvious enough to qualify as an abstract idea.

Patent eligibility for computer-implemented inventions is based on a test called the “machine or transformation” rule. This test evaluates whether a process can be patented by converting an abstract idea into a machine. Computer-implemented inventions are not easy to fail this test. A recent case in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank determined that computer-implemented inventions do qualify for patent protection.

In order for software to qualify for a patent, it must include three pieces of information: an overview of computer architecture, a single flowchart illustrating the overall logic of the software, and a series of flow charts describing the various routines and subroutines. The code should be in sufficient detail to enable a person of skill in the relevant art to create the code. In short, the inventor must describe their invention in such a way that it would be clear to a programmer.

Time limits to provide software code for patent

Most developers don’t include code with their patent applications, but you should. Include some kind of code with your patent application, be it a flow chart, prototype, or snapshot of source code. This code shouldn’t need too much explanation, but try to think of how you would describe it to a stranger. Then, you can add some explanation if necessary. After all, you want others to be able to use it without any difficulties.