Perhaps no set of innovations have made a more lasting impression on the world at large than those that involve software and technology. Every aspect of our lives has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, and software is one of the main reasons for this phenomenon. As a result, enterprising professionals are constantly pushing the envelope to come up with the next big thing when it comes to software advancement.
Given the extreme growth in this industry in recent years, the need to properly obtain and manage software patents is more critical now than ever before.
The Nature of Software Patents
Despite the fact that software is relatively new to the market when compared to other products and innovations, the United States government has granted almost 300,000 software patents over time. However, the nature of the software patent could be somewhat surprising to some, as software itself is not something that can be patented. Instead, the underlying processes and certain tangible products related to software are those innovations that generally obtain patent protection in the United States. It is all explained on how to patent an idea with InventHelp article.
Below are a few examples of the types of software patents:
- A virtual machine or computer
- A set of code
- Code that replaces existing hardware and circuitry
- The process of employing and executing code
- The function of executing code
While these examples may seem somewhat opaque and even obscure, the foundational thinking behind these norms is that there are several different types of software that essentially perform the same function, and allowing just one set of code to own every aspect of that function’s development would run counter to the existing competition model in the United States. Additionally, different sets of code could provide more advantages to different users in certain circumstances.
Information Needed to Take the First Step
Before you seek a patent for a new type of software, you need to perform a proper search of existing patents or provisional patents. This can be extremely particularized work given the complicated nature of some of these innovations. Below are a few examples of the types of information that would be helpful in regards to deciding whether or not to pursue a software patent:
- The functional steps involved with the software and how it’s executed
- Detailing the aspects of the software that could be considered unique in relation to existing patents
- A clear description of the components of the software that were used to formulate the software
- Real-world examples of how the software will perform when it’s completed
Of course, more or different information could be necessary based on the specific type of invention you’ve put together, but the basic thrust is that you need to know if your invention could be considered unique before getting involved with the application process. You can find much more information on how to patent something with InventHelp.