What is a Software Patent?

When looking for an invention, it is important to remember that the main requirement for patentability is an abstract idea. The idea itself, mathematical formulas or relationships, and fundamental economic practices may all fall under this definition. However, just reciting an abstract idea does not necessarily mean that the invention is directed to that idea. Here are three things to consider when filing a patent application for software. Inventive step – the software must have an ‘inventive step’.

Inventive step

The Inventive Step is one of the most crucial requirements for any software patent. This test will determine if the invention is new or an obvious improvement. The state of the art is the standard of what others were doing when the invention was created, so an applicant must show that the improvement isn’t obvious. There are many different methods for evaluating the state of the art, including written and oral descriptions, use, and other means.

The first criterion for inventiveness is the extent to which a new process or method satisfies the requirements of the’skilled person’ test. The skilled person test sets a lower threshold than a person with no prior knowledge of the technology. For example, a new process can be inventive if it is entirely foreign to current computer usage. In other words, it should be so unique and innovative that it would not be possible to develop the same method through any prior methods.

In the case of RICOH, the inventive step criteria were applied in a method for automatic ordering of toner cartridges and copy papers. While the system itself isn’t novel, the fact that it is an improved method of placing orders constituted an improvement in its technological aspects. Despite the fact that the RICOH case involves a computer technology, the examining division emphasized that the implementation of the claimed invention was obvious.

In contrast to the previous test, the technical contribution required for a software patent application can also be a combination of both. It is not possible to patent the software itself as a list of instructions, but instead as a technical solution capable of industrial application. The steps performed by software are deemed to be an inventive step. Therefore, an inventive step in a software patent is a step that makes the software novel, innovative, and capable of industrial application.

Whether the invention is novel and inventive requires a detailed analysis of the specification and drawings. The Federal Court discourages retrospective analysis of a patent, and requests an explicit statement of the ‘inventive step’. This provides a basis for evaluating the novelty and utility of a software patent. It is also helpful to construct a hypothetical addressee, which provides a basis for determining whether the invention is useful and is not obvious to another party.

Whether a software patent is innovative and inventive can be a tricky task. Patentable software often involves prior work, and the software must be sufficiently complex to warrant a patent. The applicant must allow adequate time to complete the process of preparing the patent application, including defining the distribution conditions of the software. These conditions must be compatible with the applicant’s licensing strategy and marketing plan. If the software patent is successful, the applicant will be able to market the product as an independent business with its own profit margin.


There are many ways to prove your invention is not obvious. In the USPTO, one of the main criteria for determining whether your invention is obvious is whether it would be known to a person of ordinary skill in the relevant field. This requirement is not easy to prove, but further reading can help you learn when your invention is obvious. This article will discuss the three main ways to prove your invention is not obvious.

Expert evidence is more difficult to provide when challenging the patentability of a software invention. The Federal Court discourages this practice and asks for a statement regarding the ‘inventive step’ that is involved in the invention. The court uses this statement to determine whether an invention is obvious. To do so, the court first constructs a hypothetical addressee with appropriate prior art and common knowledge. Using this hypothetical addressee is a key method to demonstrate novelty and inventive step.

Another way to prove non-obviousness is to show how an idea would have been known to the person who invented it before. The non-obviousness test is a judgment call and requires a reasonable person to have some knowledge of the prior art. A simple example of this would be sodium chloride, which is widely used and is often interchangeable with potassium chloride. A chemist working on improving road salt would consider the substitution obvious. Thus, a formula that simply substitutes potassium chloride for sodium chloride would not be patentable.

In patent cases, the obviousness inquiry asks whether the combination is trivial or requires a high level of inventiveness. This inquiry is fact specific and not subject to per se rules. In many cases, a patent infringement defendant or challenger can present evidence that the combination was obvious to the average person. Moreover, the patent must be able to demonstrate that it is novel, useful, and beyond the scope of the ordinary knowledge of the art in question.

While software patents are often the target of critics, their use has become increasingly widespread. However, there are still many examples of pre-Alice software patents that were obvious to the developer. For example, Amazon’s one-click shopping patent was obvious to the development community. The patent system is meant to be simple. When developers rely on their common sense, the patent system works. If developers cannot, it won’t be valid.

The patentability of software depends on whether a person with the relevant skill in the relevant field is likely to apply the technology to their own environment. The patent eligibility of software should be examined under the Mayo standard and Congress should amend the Patent Act to clarify the rules governing software patents. Without a change, software innovation will continue to suffer. So, in the meantime, the patent courts will likely continue to struggle with the issue of obviousness.

Business method

What are the main components of a Business Method of Software Patent? A Business Method of Software Patent can cover a wide variety of computer-implemented methods, including the creation of a database. It may also cover techniques for performing business operations without the use of computers. While many software patents do not involve transformation of a tangible object, the concept may be represented by an electrical charge. However, courts have historically declined to base patentability on the notion of tangibility in computer systems.

The Federal Circuit recently retreated from its decision in State Street and announced a new test for Business Method of Software Patents. This new test requires that a business method is tied to a machine and transforms a tangible article or data. The machine must also be central to the purpose of the business method. Otherwise, a software patent may be invalidated if the machine does not perform the transformation. In the Bilski case, the court held that Bilski’s claims were not patentable because the claims attempted to claim an abstract idea.

The Business Method of Software Patent must be novel and non-obvious. It must produce a concrete result. The business method must also be a combination of technology. In addition, the Business Method of Software Patent must include a thorough description of the software. Although software may be copyrighted and not patented, it may be protected by a Business Method of Software Patent. This type of patent will protect the method itself and prevent other companies from copying it.

The process of obtaining a Business Method of Software Patent is complicated, but not impossible. The application process takes about two to three years and costs several thousand dollars. Typically, you will need to retain a patent attorney to handle the process. The process can be expensive, and you will likely have to pay maintenance fees to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There is also a period between filing the application and receiving the patent.

While software patents cover tangible products, there are several other types of intellectual property that can be protected. Intellectual property (IP) laws prohibit patents on works already in use in the public. Therefore, you need to consider this when deciding on an IP strategy. Remember to seek legal advice about the patentability of any information you publish online. And, as always, seek professional legal advice if you publish information about a patentable product.

As an example, the Federal Circuit in 1998 decided that a Business Method of Software Patent can be valid, and that it does not pose any barrier to competition in the software market. However, the Federal Circuit found that the USPTO sometimes erred in allowing businesses to patent their software ideas because of the low barrier to entry. In other words, business competitors sought to patent a software program, even though it is a mathematical algorithm.