Can You Patent a Software Feature?

Software patents cannot claim benefits for customers. This is because customers cannot benefit from a software patent. If you wish to patent a software feature, make sure to understand the legal requirements before attempting to obtain a patent. Listed below are the key requirements for software patents. Hopefully, this article will help you understand how software patents work. This article will explain how software patents work, and answer the question “can you patent a software feature?”

Technical requirements

Whether or not a particular software feature is worthy of a patent application is not an easy question to answer. Software patent eligibility requirements are extremely stringent. However, there are ways to improve your application and improve its chances of being approved for patenting. Read on to find out how. Then, we’ll discuss the technical requirements for patenting software features. Listed below are some of the key aspects to consider when submitting your application for a patent.

Patenting software features can be difficult because of its many nuances. However, a software patent can achieve its goal of protecting a software feature by tying its technical benefits to the claimed software. Whether a software feature is truly unique is a question of technical merit. If a software feature has unique qualities that only the creator of the software can claim, it should be eligible for a software patent. By following the correct steps, a company can apply for a patent and protect its technology.

An abstract idea must be capable of turning into a patent-eligible feature. The idea must solve a problem that’s “necessarily rooted” in computer technology. But it must do so in a novel way, with claims that don’t preempt every application of the idea. There is a limit on how far abstract ideas can be patented. There are some exceptions to the patentability rule, however.

One important step in patenting software features is completing a patent search. Patent searches help software inventors identify which features are truly unique and describe how they innovate. Additionally, it helps the inventors determine whether or not their inventions are sufficiently broad to qualify for a software patent. Afterwards, they should draft their patent claims. Once they’ve received an approval from the Patent Office, they can proceed with the rest of the process.

Inventive step

Inventive step is one of the key ingredients for a successful patent application. This rule determines whether an item qualifies as new, or if it is merely a slight improvement on a known item. It is important to remember that patents can prevent a competitor from using your feature or tweaking it and making money off it. This rule also ensures that a company cannot patent your feature simply because another company has already used it.

The first step of analysis for determining whether a claim contains an inventive step involves identifying its technical features. Claims may be based on purely computational features, or they can be based on a combination of both. For example, a new method of allocating costs to subscribers may involve the use of two different identities. In the case of a subscriber identity module, the invention must allocate at least two identities and be selectively usable.

An inventor’s patent application should clearly state what new or improved technology it creates. It must also demonstrate that the invention is more useful than it was before. Inventive step is essential because it helps the company win patents and ensures a positive return on investment. Inventive step is the key to a successful patent application. If your company does not have any patent experience, consider hiring a patent attorney through a service such as UpCounsel.

There are several ways to assess whether a software feature has an inventive step. Identifying the field in which the software feature has been used is essential. Next, consider the technical contribution. Is the idea novel or inventive? If the answer is yes, your invention has a strong chance of being patentable. Consider your invention early and make sure it meets these criteria. If you make the effort to determine whether a software feature has an inventive step, it is likely to be protected.

A computer software program that enhances digital images, for example, would be treated differently by the EPO. Enhanced images are considered inherently technical, so implementing a new mathematical algorithm within such a program would give rise to something technical. Image enhancement software may not be patented, depending on the algorithm. There is a fine line between novelty and inventive step in software. The key is to be creative and avoid patenting something you can’t use.


There are some things to remember when determining non-obviousness when patenting software. First, you must determine the precise identity of the invention. Unlike the other tests for novelty, this one does not allow for hindsight. Rather, it requires a patent applicant to demonstrate a substantial amount of inventiveness, far beyond the standard of ordinary skill in the art. The Supreme Court has outlined four main errors in the Federal Circuit’s application of the TSM test for obviousness.

To establish that an invention is novel, it must satisfy a long-felt need in the industry. In the case of software, objective evidence includes the commercial success of the invention, unexpected results, and the skepticism of experts. It is important to note that not all of these secondary considerations are equally persuasive. In China, for example, an invention must solve a problem that is not known to exist. In Taiwan, however, a technical contribution must be proven.

Another key factor in establishing non-obviousness when patenting software is its novelty. In the US, an invention is non-obvious if it is publicly available, or is used by other people. This exception applies to inventions published by an inventor-applicant, as long as the publication was made up to one year before the filing date. However, it is possible for a third party to read the publication and file a separate application before the inventor. This would require expensive derivation proceedings.

While the federal government grants patents for useful, new, and non-obvious inventions, it is important to understand that not all software is patentable. In some instances, it is possible to patent software features without submitting them for a software patent application. These inventions may be used to optimize energy use, provide faster calculations, or improve productivity. However, in order to be eligible for patent protection, the software must also satisfy three key requirements. In the United States, each of these criteria is slightly different, so you should be sure to read the regulations in your state before filing.

In order to qualify for a patent, an abstract idea must be novel and not previously disclosed. The invention should have the ability to reduce the amount of computing resources needed to complete a task. It cannot preempt every application of the idea. The patented features should benefit customers and developers alike. A strong patent protection will encourage innovation and disclosure of software-based inventions. So, before you file for a software patent, make sure to consider the non-obviousness requirements.

Business method

While the AIA has thrown the ball back and forth, there are still valid approaches to preparing and prosecuting business method patent applications in the current environment. These include actively engaging examiners, incorporating lessons from recent cases, and analyzing recent PTAB decisions. These techniques can help you get your software features patented. This article will discuss these tactics. Let’s start with an overview of how business method patents work.

Since the Alice v. CLS Bank decision, the USPTO has allowed patents on business methods. IBM and several other companies opposed this decision, but it has become a powerful constituency of business method patent holders. As a result, the Supreme Court has interpreted business method patent eligibility under section 101. In the end, however, the Court has rejected the Bilski claims as being non-patentable because they were essentially abstract ideas, which are not patentable. However, there are still useful Federal Circuit precedents that show a business method can be patentable.

Another way to protect business methods is to incorporate them into other products. For example, a software company might create a product with a new feature and market it in the same way as a competitor. If a customer uses the new feature as a means to increase their profit, that would qualify as a business method. Ultimately, this can be an attractive option for both parties. The USPTO will grant patents on business methods if the method demonstrates substantial utility.

Another example of a business method patent is an anti-fraud ATM machine. In this case, the technology used to implement the technology enables a company to send a secure code to a customer’s cell phone to verify the transaction. Such technology is referred to as a business method patent, and unlike a process patent, a business method patent focuses on a company’s business method.

The process of applying for a business method patent can be challenging, but is not impossible. The USPTO does not like attempts to create monopolies over software. Uber and Lyft did not stop each other from developing ride sharing apps, so a software patent is still possible as long as it doesn’t create a monopoly over the entire industry. However, the application must be carefully planned to avoid creating an industry-wide monopoly.