App and software patents are common candidates for provisional patent applications. Many app and software inventors are associated with smaller companies who need precious capital to fund the beginning stages of their company. Provisional patent applications, as I discussed here, can be helpful in obtaining “patent pending” status and preserving a priority date without spending extraneous amounts of up-front capital.
U.S. patent law requires a more formal non-provisional application to be filed a year after the provisional application, but by then, companies typically have received enough funding to afford the non-provisional application, or enough market push back to acknowledge that the invention is not worth pursuing. There are, of course, tons of exceptions to this rule, but this approach is a common one for app or software companies as stated by Invent Help experts.
Requirements for Software
Software patentability is an area of the law that is rapidly shifting. Like any technology, software inventions must be new and non-obvious (more on that in a later post). But software must also pass a test set forth by the Supreme Court, that the invention (1) not claim an abstract idea, or (2) if the invention claims an abstract idea, that the claim include “significantly more” than the abstract idea to make the claim patent-eligible.
Whether “significantly more” has been invented, is also a work in progress. However, several software inventions have been held to require the necessary “significantly more,” such as inventions that improve a computer or another technical area, or that are applied to a real-world context such as curing rubber, or that are performed by a particular machine, or that implement hardware in a meaningful way… the exceptions are plentiful and ever increasing.
Bottom line: Software is patentable in the United States, but the determination of what kind of software is patentable changes, seemingly every day. So if you want protection on a software or app invention, contact InventHelp for a free and confidential consultation or read some of the InventHelp reviews to learn more about the company.