Is Software Patent Protection a Good Idea?

If you have a computer program and you want to protect your code, you might be wondering: is software patent protection a good idea? The software itself is protected as intellectual property and might even be a trade secret. But the concept behind it might fall under patent law. This is not the same as trademark protection for shoes, which the creator does not have to register. If you’ve been in a shoe store, you probably know how important it is to lock up the store when no one is in. The same holds true of software.

Trade secrets

Trade secrets are intellectual property and, therefore, are protected by law. They are protected if the owner makes a reasonable effort to maintain them, and if nobody else independently discovers them. Spying on companies is illegal, but reverse engineering and developing independently are legal. Trade secrets are also protected under trademark law, which uses a symbol to differentiate one particular brand or product from another. Trademarks may be registered or unregistered.

Most software developers worry about the extent to which their source code will be revealed if they seek patent protection. However, the Patent Act allows for a letter patent to be issued for software-implemented inventions without disclosing the source code. Patents may be issued based on documentation, flow charts, functionality, or steps rather than source code. As a result, software patents can protect trade secrets while protecting the interests of the creator.

As a result, software is protected by a patent if it is of independent economic value and is subject to reasonable efforts to keep its secrecy. In many cases, software is the result of years of research and development that refine algorithms and create useful products. The lack of public disclosure can prevent competitors from building on previous advances, which can lead to infringement. In addition, software is often created in small teams, and it’s difficult to make a big company in the same field as a single company.


In the last eight years, the software community has made tremendous strides. With new guidance issued by the USPTO, the number of software patent applications has increased by 22% over the last three years. By 2020, software will account for 60% of all patent applications. Patents offer legal protection against infringement of an author’s work. But there are risks associated with patenting software. As software becomes more ubiquitous, more companies are choosing to protect their software with a patent.

One of the biggest challenges facing software patent applicants is defining the invention. Although there is no statutory framework for software, a patent can be filed if it meets certain criteria. Basically, the software must be abstract and new, and must not be obvious to average skills within the industry. It is crucial to describe all systems used to perform the novel process to qualify for patent protection. There are two main categories of patents: software applications and software-as-a-service patents.

One reason why software patents are so important is because it protects the original creator of the software and the program’s behavior. The copyright and patent protection systems are both inefficient and ineffective for protecting software. Additionally, copyright protection does not protect the behavior of a program. Therefore, it is impossible to obtain patent protection for software because of the inherent inventiveness and innovation of the software. And, even if patent protection is possible, software cannot be protected.


Software patent protection is an important aspect of intellectual property laws for any creator of software. Although both protect innovative concepts, the two systems serve slightly different purposes. This article will explain the key differences between copyright and software patent protection. We will also examine the limitations of each. The main difference between copyright and software patent protection is the level of protection they grant to end-users. The aim of copyright is to protect an original work, whereas a software patent protects a unique combination of ideas.

Software patents are not enforceable in every case. However, in most cases, copyrights do not extend to computer programs and can include images, music, and videos. Even manuals that describe plant diseases may be protected under copyright. In such cases, software patent protection is not possible. However, commercialization is possible through software licensing mechanisms. The advantage of copyright protection is that it allows a software creator to sell their creations without relying on the patent process.

While this does not mean that software is completely free, it is important to consider the potential consequences for infringement. If your product becomes widely available, your competitors will have no choice but to copy it. The first thing you should do is figure out if it is worth defending against infringement claims. In some cases, copyright may even be better. The next time you’re looking for a copyright lawyer, make sure you consult with a licensed intellectual property attorney.


As with other technologies, determining the novelty of a software invention is a delicate balancing act. Software patents are often of low quality, granting only basic protection for mathematical expressions. However, software has permeated every aspect of technology and economic endeavor, and courts have justified their granting. The assessment of novelty involves identifying the field of technology, establishing common general knowledge, and demonstrating utility.

A patent application must include an element of novelty in order to be valid. The novelty test is based on the idea or invention’s utility and cannot cover a method that is already known to the public. This requirement is often difficult to reconcile with the objective of meaningful coverage. However, there are some inventions that simply aren’t novel enough to merit a patent. Here are some examples of novelties that can qualify for patent protection.

Generally, software patents are often granted. However, software patent applications are on the rise. This is due to several factors, including limited prior art search capabilities, high turnover rates of patent examiners in the U.S., and confusion regarding the notion of novelty in software. Additionally, varying international patent laws complicate the process of obtaining patent protection. However, the cost of patent protection increases in these cases.


If your software program has a patentable feature, it gives you control over the supply of your product in the marketplace. Having a patent also makes your business more valuable as an investment. For example, a published patent portfolio may deter or slow competitors from entering the market. It can also make your business more attractive for acquisition. Here are some tips to get the most out of software patent protection. Continue reading to learn more about the various benefits of software patent protection.

The first step in obtaining software patent protection is to establish whether the invention is truly novel. This requirement can be met by showing that the claimed invention is not obvious to others. In contrast, if two similar products are found to be identical, they cannot qualify as new. The patentee must demonstrate inventiveness that is beyond ordinary skill in the relevant art. In Graham v. John Deere Co., the Supreme Court first applied the non-obviousness test. In this case, the Patent Office found that the combination of two prior art devices and techniques was “unique.” In addition, the invention was not obvious to the people involved in the original patent application.

Software patents have been criticized by developers and patented products. But many of the pre-Alice software patents were obvious to developers. For example, Amazon’s patent for one-click shopping was obvious to developers. A patent based on common sense is a better legal standard than one that requires a purely abstract idea to be indistinguishable from the product at issue. While software patent protection can be challenging, ensuring non-obviousness in software development is vital to achieving successful software protection.


The costs of software patent protection can be quite expensive, even for the most innovative technologies. In addition to the filing fees, there are also attorney fees. Patent agents charge high fees and are a ripe target for lobbying by special interests. Furthermore, legislation affecting patent protection is often incomplete and subject to the influence of special interests. Nevertheless, patent agents provide powerful protection to the software and hardware industries. Nevertheless, patent costs should not be underestimated.

The most cost-effective option is to file a software patent application yourself. The filing fee may be as low as $900, although there are other options as well. It is important to note that you must be willing to pay the patent attorney’s fees – these fees are nonrefundable. Nonetheless, hiring an attorney will help you lower the risk of rejection by an examiner. However, it is important to keep in mind that patent applications require a lot of time, attention, and knowledge to ensure that they’re filed properly.

Once you’ve selected a software patent attorney, it’s important to understand the cost of software patent protection. As software is a commodity, patent attorneys charge high fees for software patents. Some of these companies buy software patents and hold them for royalty payments. Others deal exclusively in intellectual property. Therefore, software patent attorneys need to be well versed in 35 USC 101. Once you’ve obtained your software patent, you’ll be required to become the patent enforcer and act as a vigilance.


It is very important to understand the process behind software patent protection before filing for one. A detailed application will increase your chances of being granted a patent. Whether you wish to protect just part of your software invention or the whole invention, a detailed application will help advance your case to allowability. This article will explain the steps that are involved in a software patent application. To make sure you’re on the right track, consult a professional attorney for guidance.

In today’s world, the software industry has tremendous economic growth and innovation potential. The ability to make and implement new technologies, and the flexibility to fix errors and release new versions of software with downloadable updates, are the reasons for the booming software industry. Moreover, implementing an invention as software is much faster and cheaper than implementing it as hardware. Software patent protection offers numerous advantages for software companies, including financial protection, intellectual property rights, and competitiveness.

Software patents provide a strong intellectual property protection for software inventions. Patents generally cost $30k or more over the lifetime of an application. Additionally, they can take years to issue, requiring a substantial amount of time. Additionally, it is not uncommon for software inventions to be subjected to legal action. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from filing a software patent. It is essential to protect your intellectual property from theft.