Software Patents: Get To Know These Best Practices & Procedures
People often ask IP agents whether they can patent software. In most cases, these people will be inventors or developers of a product that runs on software. They ask such a question to patent agents in the UAE to know whether they can protect their inventions such as smartphone apps, a website, or a device.
However, you need to reframe the question to get a clear answer. The question should be whether you can patent software-related inventions. Yes, you can protect your software-related inventions through patent registration. This article describes the best practices related to patenting software-related inventions. Read on to know further.
What Is a Software Patent?
Software patents help to protect the inventions related to the development of new computer software that is designed to improve the performance of businesses. A legal definition of software patents is not yet available as software is an abstract discipline. Moreover, the IP protection granted to software patents varies across the world. In many countries, especially in the US, patents won’t be granted if an idea is too abstract.
The most commonly used method of IP protection in the software sector is copyright as the development of software is considered a creative process. A software idea can be copyrighted only if it is expressed or published. Patents, on the other hand, cover software development in the ideation stage, or procedures and methods. Moreover, software patents can be more expensive and complicated compared to copyright protection. Consult with patent agents in the UAE for further information.
Top Requirements for Patent Eligibility for Software Inventions
Before applying for patent registration, you must check whether your software-related inventions are eligible for patent protection. For software to qualify for patent registration, it must meet the following requirements:
- The subject matter should be concrete and not too abstract
- Should have industrial application in the tech industry
- It should be inventive and completely original
- Meet the legal standards set for patent applications
Things to Keep in Mind when Applying for a Software Patent
Since there is no legal definition for software patents, the patent registration process can become complicated for developers. Seeking the advice of patent agents in the UAE can redeem the inventors from potential rejections in this regard. Additionally, keep the following things in mind while applying for a patent registration:
- Protecting an abstract idea (even if it has a commercial value) requires you to check the patent laws of various jurisdictions
- The types of software innovations that can be patented differ across the world
- You may encounter legal and technical complications while trying to register software patents
Steps to Draft Claims and Specifications
Experts recommend the inventors follow a five-step process to draft effective claims and specifications for registering software patents. Patents agents in the UAE can offer their assistance in assessing the efficacy of the patent draft. Given below are the five steps for drafting claims and specifications for software patents:
- Consider the software-related invention as a problem-solution concept
- Compile a clean and labelled flow chart diagram covering all the features and functions related to the invention
- Draw a system architecture or block diagram to represent the fundamental hardware elements connected through the network
- Ensure there is a proper synchronization between the block diagrams and flow charts
- Draft the patent claims to illustrate all block diagrams and method claim elements
When do you Need a Software Patent?
If you have a product or service that makes use of software, patent agents in the UAE recommend applying for and obtaining patent protection. Copyright protection can protect your software codes from being plagiarised but it can’t prevent others from developing the same software without your consent. On the other hand, patent protection gives you the right to exclude others from using the functional aspects of the software claimed in your patent, even if others develop the same software independently. Consult with patent agents in the UAE for further information.
Consult with the Best Patent Agents in the UAE
Obtaining protection for a software-related invention is a complex process owing to the lack of a proper legal definition. Inventors need a proper strategy for protecting software patents across the world, for which patent agents in the UAE, such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) can help you. JIP is one of the leading providers of patent services in the UAE and other GCC countries. JIP has a team of highly qualified patent registration experts who can help you gain patents without any hassle.