How to patent a software code [With Tutorial]

Last updated : Sept 26, 2022
Written by : Mellie Paluzzi
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How to patent a software code

Can you get a patent on software?

— The simple answer. The simple answer is yes — it's very possible to protect inventions that are implemented by software using a patent, but this comes with a proviso: that the invention solves a technical problem.

Can software codes be patented?

For example, it might be a smartphone app, a website, or a device or system that uses software to perform various functions. The real question is whether software-related inventions can be patented. The answer to this question is YES!

Can a software code be protected by copyright?

Computer software, more specifically the program code, is protected by copyright as a ""literary work"". There may also be other types of copyright work associated with some computer software.

Can you patent python code?

You cannot patent it, because you publicly disclosed it already. You have user base (and since it's a script - they can see exactly how it works), and you more or less described it here, giving enough information as to the essence of the idea.

What are the 3 types of patents?

What kind of patent do you need? There are three types of patents - Utility, Design, and Plant. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement thereof.

How much does it cost to get a patent?

A patent can cost from $900 for a do-it-yourself application to between $5,000 and $10,000+ with the help of patent lawyers. A patent protects an invention and the cost of the process to get the patent will depend on the type of patent (provisional, non-provisional, or utility) and the complexity of the invention.

How long does a software patent last?

Patent protection for software lasts 20 years.

Why is it difficult to apply patent laws to software?

Software is harder to visualise – there may be multiple technology layers in an implementation stack and many non-essential interoperating parts. This can often lead to poor patent specifications and misunderstandings. Also if a patent claim is too specific then it will be easy for a software developer to work around.

Should software be copyrighted or patented?

Any software program, whether there is an inventive aspect involved or not, is protected under copyright. However, the dilemma of whether to opt for patent protection arises when there is an inventive aspect associated with a software product or a process.

Can I patent a computer algorithm?

According to U.S. patent law, you cannot directly patent an algorithm. However, you can patent the series of steps in your algorithm. That's because an algorithm is seen as a series of mathematical steps and procedures under U.S. patent law.

Why do we patent software?

From a technical standpoint, your software may be patentable (1) if it improves computer functionality in some way (i.e. it enables certain computations that were previously unavailable, speeds up processes, or requires fewer resources), or (2) if it solves a computing challenge in an unconventional way.

How much does a 20 year patent cost?

The full cost of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent over 20 years is in the range of $20,000 to $60,000. This sum is influenced by the type of technology being patented; the number of claims and drawings included in the application; the number and nature of rejections from USPTO; filing fees, etc.

How can I get a patent with no money?

The Patent Pro Bono Program attempts to match inventors with registered patent agents or patent attorneys. These practitioners volunteer their time without charging the inventor. However, the inventor still must pay all fees that are required by the USPTO; these cannot be paid by the practitioner.

What can and Cannot be patented?

  • something that can be made or used (capable of industrial application)
  • new.
  • inventive – not just a modification to something that already exists.

What is poor man's patent?

A poor man's patent is essentially writing out a description of your invention and then mailing that written description to yourself. This postmarked envelope supposedly acts to create the date of your invention as the date this written description was postmarked.

Do patents expire?

Patent Expiration Utility patents expire four, eight, and 12 years after issuance of the patent if the maintenance fees are not paid at these points in time. The patent actually expires at 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years, but there is a six-month grace period in which to pay the maintenance fee.

Is it difficult to get a patent?

Since patents are legal articles, they can be somewhat difficult to obtain. Patent applications vary from country to country, depending on what you're trying to get a patent for.

Which software can be patented?

As per Sec. 3 (k) of the Patent Act, 2002, computer program cannot be patented per se. However, a software can be patented if it is attached to an invention and that it is a component of such invention.

How long does it take to patent a software?

Working with a skilled patent attorney can expedite the patent application process. Once you submit your application, it can take 3 to 48 months to receive a final determination on your patent application. The majority of patent applications take two years or longer.

Can apps be patented?

Can You Patent an App? The short answer is yes. Apps can be patented, though they must meet the same criteria of novelty that other products are judged by.

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How to patent a software code

Comment by Luana Craun

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Thanks for your comment Luana Craun, have a nice day.
- Mellie Paluzzi, Staff Member

Comment by caveton

good morning in this video we're going to go over how to patent software you shall learn what exactly are software patents and how are they different from other types of patents and how to actually go about filing your software patent application and if you stick around and watch this video to the end I will show you exactly where you can download a free template and free information to get started writing your own software patent application my name is Brad flash I've been filing patent applications for over 11 years I'm a registered patent agent with the US Patent and Trademark Office I filed over 500 different patent applications and a variety of areas including many software patent applications and I'm a certified licensing professional so Before we jump into software patents let's talk a little bit about the different types of patents you can choose from when you have a new invention if your new invention was a new type of plant you would file a plant patent if your new invention was a new design like a new coke bottle design you would file a design patent what we're going to be talking about here for software patents are called utility patents which mean they're something that has a unique and usefulness to them and so there's different types of utility patent applications so it's a provisional patent application a non provisional continuation CIP and divisional and that's just a few of them if you want to learn more about the different types of patent applications you can visit patent file org so software patents or software patent applications are a type of utility patent applications now utility patent applications are either compositions of matter so these are things like widgets or tools the traditional things you think of when you think of a new patent or a new invention but they can also include things like methods so in the past say a new chemical process our new biotechnology process those would all be protected as method patents and that's been you know around for 100 or so years here in the United States recently within the past you know a few decades people have been able to get patents on methods performed by software and so that's where the term software patents come from they're basically any methods that are performed by a computer and so software can be protected two different ways the software code is actually protected under copyright and so that's really easy to protect your software code by copyright but if your software code is more than just code you know it's more than just a website or more than just a blog it's actually a really neat piece of software that can perform a new and useful method or function then that would also fall under the patentable category and so you could actually protect it by software I mean by a copyright and by a software patent you should know that it's getting harder and harder to get software patents allowed you know ten or fifteen years ago you could probably get a really broad software patent allowed on say a method of purchasing an item online adding it to a shopping cart nowadays it's you know very hard to get those type of broad software patents and rightfully so I think a lot of people abuse the software patent system and so who uses software patents all the big technologies company all the big technology companies do and it's probably one of the most valuable type of patents you can have at least nowadays it's important to know the best time to file your software patents a lot of developers don't realize this but if you publish your software online or you make it available for sale you can actually block yourself from getting a patent if you don't already have your patent filed first so I always tell people you should really try to get your patent filed first at least file a provisional patent application it's very cheap and easy to do do that before you launch your product or launch your software because you might lose your patent rights if you don't follow it in that order now in the United States we get this twelve month grace period which means if you want patent protection in the United States and you did launch your software first that's okay you have 12 months from the date your software first went public to get your patent filed and so this is a typical timeline if you have your idea you should do a kind of basic patent search make sure no one else is doing what you think is novel build your prototype or your alpha or your beta version of your software then file your provisional patent before you show anyone or have it available to the public once your provisional patents filed then you can do your alpha or your beta launch or a soft launch to see how well your software is doing maybe find some customers find some investors build up some buzz about your software product then file your non provisional patent that has to be filed within a year from the date you filed your provisional patent and that's kind of the real patent that goes through the patent process and ultimately issues with a patent number and then your patent will expire 20 years from the date you filed it so there's only two ways that you can apply for a software patent or any patent for that matter in the United States you can hire a registered patent agent or patent attorney to write it for you on the cheaper end that's going to be about a thousand dollars we've paid all the way up to $40,000 at the University where I work for a very complicated software patent the second option is to do it yourself as the inventor you can write and file your own patent application yourself and I'll show you how to do that in video 2 which is coming up next if you do want to download a software patent template or see what different examples of software patents look like you can go to our website patent file org slash software so again a video 2 will show you how to file a software patent and what the important things are that should be included in a software patent if you have any questions here's my email address please email me and if you like this video if it was useful to you please hit the like button thank you

Thanks caveton your participation is very much appreciated
- Mellie Paluzzi

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