Can I Patent My Software Invention?

traverselegal - January 28, 2016 - Patent, Software Patents

Even though it is no longer as easy to get a software patent in the U.S., software is still patent-eligible. Generally speaking, a software patent refers to a patent directed to a computer-implemented process. Software patent applications that describe ways a computer-implemented process is faster, more accurate, provides enhanced functionality, etc., are more likely to be granted than those that just use a computer to perform an existing process more efficiently.

The USPTO issued guidance to patent examiners regarding software patents (see link below), emphasizing that patents involving abstract ideas implemented using computers must include elements that claim “significantly more” than the idea itself. As a result, it is critical to work with patent attorneys who understand the current law and can incorporate the law into patent-drafting strategies involved in showing that a computer-implemented process is more than just an abstract idea. Future decisions by the Federal Circuit or the USPTO could significantly change the rules regarding what is patent-eligible.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is an increasingly popular model for delivering software applications over the internet. Instead of purchasing and installing software on individual computers, users can access SaaS applications through a web browser, typically on a subscription basis. This model offers numerous advantages, such as reduced upfront costs, scalability, automatic updates, and accessibility from any device with an internet connection. SaaS providers often host the software on their servers, handling maintenance, security, and performance issues, which frees users from these technical responsibilities. For businesses, SaaS can provide greater flexibility and the ability to quickly implement new tools without the need for significant IT infrastructure investment. The rise of SaaS has also led to complex legal considerations, particularly regarding data privacy, intellectual property, and service level agreements. Protecting a SaaS-based innovation through patents can be challenging but achievable, especially if the software provides a unique technical solution or an innovative method of delivering the service. Given the evolving nature of software patent law, it is crucial for companies developing SaaS solutions to consult with experienced patent attorneys to navigate the intricacies of patent eligibility and ensure robust protection for their intellectual property.

Feel free to contact a Traverse Legal patent attorney to help protect your software-related invention and guide you through the complex area of software patent law.

The USPTO “July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility” Guidelines can be found here:

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.