A software invention does not require hardware outside of a computer. The software program itself causes the computer to work in a new way. This makes the software implementation patentable. Likewise, the software that enables the computer to do something new may be patented subject matter. If you want to patent a software-implemented invention, you need to understand the requirements for a software patent. Here are some tips to help you decide whether or not it is patentable.

Subject matter must be directed to a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea

The underlying principles in determining the scope of patentability in software are the same as in traditional patent law. To qualify as patentable software, a product or process must be directed to a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea. While the Supreme Court does not define these terms, science and philosophy have provided valuable guidance. Natural complexity is one avenue that scientific philosophers can explore to help clarify these questions.

Mental processes are also part of abstract ideas and cannot be patented. In fact, claims that recite mathematical formulas will fall under this category. For example, if a computer program calculates the force of an object by multiplying its mass and acceleration, the claim would not fall under the category of an abstract idea. Further, a claim that relies on a mathematical algorithm is not patentable, because it could be performed mentally without any physical machinery.

Patent laws have long prohibited inventions that exploit the laws of nature. Hence, the patent office has consistently held that a new invention must be directed to a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea in order to qualify for patent protection. This rule is interpreted to allow new technology to benefit from the patent system, if the product can satisfy the requirements of novelty and nonobviousness.

While this rule may seem harsh, it does not address all of the possible uses of a software product or process. The Supreme Court, in Bilski v. Kappos, found that the “law” in question was not a law of nature, but rather an abstract idea. The resulting case demonstrates that this rule does not apply in all cases.

As an example, a recent case in the Federal Circuit held that claims in a new software product were not patented because they were not directed to a law of nature or a natural phenomenon. In contrast, a federal district court held that the claims directed to an abstract idea were based on a fundamental human activity-the act of voting.

It must be unique

In order for software to be patentable, it must be new and improve on a well-known mechanism. Simply doing something known on a computer is not patentable, and software needs to have some added features to make it unique. The Supreme Court has provided little guidance on what constitutes an “abstract idea” and what additional elements need to be included in an application to transform it into a patented invention. The two-step process discussed below lays out the criteria for determining whether a software program is patentable.

Software is not a tangible object, and therefore, a patent cannot claim benefits to a customer. The process itself must be unique. It must also be technical, and cannot be described by another person. This means that software needs to be different from the rest of the market. A software patent may only be granted to a software developer. This means that software must be new and unrivaled by other products in the same category.

There are many ways to make software patentable. One way to do this is to conduct a patent search on the subject of your invention. By performing a search, you can identify which aspects of your software are unique, and which aspects you can expand on to include additional features. Additionally, you can find out whether your claim is sufficiently broad. This step will help you determine whether your application qualifies for patenting. If it is, it will be granted by the European Patent Office.

Besides being unique, software is also patented in the United States. Typically, software patents are computer implemented processes, and must be based on a machine. In the past, software patent applications have been turned down based on the fact that they are derived from abstract ideas. But the US Patent Office has recently changed this and has begun recognising the validity of software patents. Thousands of companies are involved in this industry and is ranked among the world’s three largest manufacturing industries.

To ensure your invention is unique, you must first ensure that it is both novel and functionally unique. This means that it can’t be an exact copy of a previously-disclosed design. Furthermore, software patents must not be obvious to consumers. If you want your software to be patentable, you should make sure that it is novel and does not have an obvious similarity with other products. Once you have identified this, you can then decide whether it is unique or not.

It must solve a problem that is “necessarily rooted” in computer technology

In deciding whether software is patentable, the Supreme Court articulated two basic requirements for eligibility: an invention must be a solution to a problem that is “neces sarily rooted” in computer technology and not be an abstract idea. Those requirements do not preempt every possible application of the invention. Instead, they specify that the claimed invention must “radically” change the way computers perform tasks.

In the end, however, the DDR court determined that this software patentable solution addressed a business problem, the failure of a website to retain visitors. Despite the technical hurdle, the DDR solution was a highly effective way to increase website traffic. Furthermore, it solved a problem that is “necessarily rooted” in computer technology.

The DDR case was the only decision on whether software inventions could be patented. However, the Federal Circuit ruled in Enfish v. Microsoft, 1244 (2015), that software-related inventions can be patented if they solve a “necessarily rooted” problem in computer technology. The Enfish case has since reopened the patentability debate.

In addition to applying the SS 101 test to software, the Federal Circuit has taken a similar approach. Its recent decisions on SS 101 have upended the law, requiring patent claims to clearly disclose a “necessarily rooted” problem in computer technology. Further, a software invention must be sufficiently specific to avoid pre-emption.

It must inform a person skilled in each art how to make and use the invention

For a software patent to be enforceable, it must tell a person skilled in the applicable art how to make and use the software. It is important to cite references to support this assertion. Whether software is useful in a particular field is a separate question. While many cases infringe on software patents, the Federal Circuit has cited a few case-law examples that suggest this requirement can be met.