Unleashing Dominance: Outpacing Software Revolution with Indomitable Patents 

 September 2, 2023

By  Seraphina Winters

Summary: In our increasingly software-oriented economy, understanding the importance of patenting your software creations is paramount. This article will guide you through the intricacies of software patents, detailing aspects like software patentability, enforcement, types of patent applications, and the advantages and challenges of obtaining such patents. Equip yourself with this knowledge to ensure you are making informed decisions that could substantially contribute to your business’s success.

Understanding the Necessity of Software Patents

The revolutionary integration of software, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) in various sectors has significantly optimized efficiency and productivity. This brings forth the need to protect your software innovations from potential infringers. A software patent does precisely this and could be crucial in safeguarding your software’s unique processes and methodologies.

Identifying novelty in your software

Patenting your software begins with identifying its ‘point of novelty.’ This term refers to the unique functionality that your software offers, which could be considered novel. This could range from unique algorithms to enhanced system designs, which all contribute to the overall innovative concept of the software. By dissecting these functional elements, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful patent application.

The Enforceability of Software Patents

Contrary to some misperceptions, software and computer-related inventions are not only patentable, but they can also be strongly enforced. Prevailing legal entities such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have made it possible to take legal action against infringing parties. This is achievable only when you have broad claim language granting more substantial exclusionary rights in your issued patent.

Types of Software Patent Applications

When pursuing software patent rights, it’s essential to understand the different types of patent applications. The two main categories are Utility Patents and Design Patents. The former is largely about the functionality of the invention, while the latter protects ornamental aspects, such as the graphical user interfaces (GUI).

The Ease of Provisional Patent Applications

When starting your patent application, consider a provisional patent application, which grants you a 12-month grace period to finalize your application while enjoying the “patent pending” status. Keep in mind, however, that this is only a placeholder and needs to be converted to a fully-fledged non-provisional patent application before the expiry of the grace period.

Non-provisional Patent Application: The Way to Full Protection

By following the guidelines set by legal authorities, a non-provisional patent application can grant you 20 years of patent protection from its filing date. This typically includes 3 independent claims and a total of 20 claims, with an option to purchase additional independent and dependent claims.

Understanding the Pros and Risks of Software Patents

Acquiring software patents does come with its fair share of pros and cons. Let’s explore these further to better understand the value they bring to your business.

The Advantages of Patenting Software

Beyond the ability to legally combat infringers, software patents grant you 20 years of protection for your innovation. This not only provides you with a competitive edge but also enhances your negotiating power with potential partners, competitors, and investors. Furthermore, the process opens doors to licensing and monetization opportunities that could lead to substantial profits.

The Risks and Challenges of Applying for Software Patents

On the flip side, the process of acquiring a software patent can be a lengthy and complicated one, often stretching beyond two years. The USPTO deals with numerous patent applications annually, which contributes to the lengthy approval process. Even so, keep in mind that granting of patent protection is never guaranteed. That said, working with an expertise firm can drastically improve your chances of getting your software patented.

Software Patents Vs. Copyright: What’s Best for Your Business?

While copyrighting may offer protection to software codes and visual elements, it doesn’t cover the actual functional aspects of the software. That devices like algorithms, system designs, and hardware are excluded from copyright protection emphasizes why patenting your software may be a more comprehensive way of securing your innovations.

Patent protection is not granted to the software itself but to the innovation behind the software. So, if your software invention is novel, non-obvious, and useful, it may be eligible for patent protection.

Software Patent Examples

Some of the examples of successful patenting of software inventions include the United States Patent Number D599,372, which protects Google’s homepage design and layout, and Airbnb’s software patent, which protects its innovative model of facilitating lodging bookings through their website. These examples underscore the significance of software patents in safeguarding technological advancements.

Why Seek Legal Counsel?

The legal landscape involved in patenting can be complex, and thus getting support from an experienced Intellectual Property (IP) attorney who specializes in software patent prosecution can be a game-changer. They offer invaluable guidance through the process, keep you posted on relevant legal rulings, and position your patent application for success.

How to Get Started with Your Software Patent

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to start the journey towards patenting your software:

  1. Work with a patent attorney to identify the novelty in your software and prepare a disclosure document.
  2. Conduct a prior art search.
  3. Together with your patent attorney, prepare a well-detailed software patent application.
  4. Submit the application to the USPTO and make a record of the application number, confirmation number, and filing date.
  5. Engage promptly with any office action from the Patent Examiner.
  6. Once your patent is accepted, pay the issue fee for the patent.

The subsequent collaboration with your attorney increases your chances of securing your software patent.


Patenting your software may come with many complexities and challenges, but the potential benefits significantly justify the effort. Securing your patent grants you long-term protection, a competitive edge, and opens doors for several monetization opportunities. The key, however, is working with an experienced software patent attorney who can guide you through the murky waters of the process effectively. Protecting your software with patents is a strategic decision that requires careful deliberation and professional guidance.

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Seraphina Winters

Seraphina Winters, a multilingual journalist, is known for her insightful and thought-provoking articles. Her Northern European heritage and Michigan upbringing have shaped her unique writing style, blending European elegance with American practicality.

In her late 20s, Seraphina's passion for truth and commitment to journalistic integrity have made her a respected voice. Her articles explore the balance between free enterprise and social welfare, resonating with a wide readership.

Her name, meaning "fiery one," reflects her fervent pursuit of knowledge and dedication to her craft. Whether reporting on local events or authoring acclaimed works, Seraphina Winters stands as one of Michigan's most promising literary talents, inspiring and enlightening her audience.

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