If you are interested in a software patent, you may be wondering: can you patent software code? This article will address the criteria needed to secure a patent for your code. The criteria include non-obviousness and an Inventive step. We will also discuss whether you can patent software that works in an industry where there is a high level of competition. Continue reading to learn more! Here are some examples of software that could be a candidate for a patent: virus detection software, web interfaces, content-filtering software, video compression software, and more.


  1. Applicability of software patents
  2. Criteria to be met to get a patent
    • Inventive step
    • Non-obviousness
    • Inventive design

Applicability of software patents

When applying for a software patent, applicants must first determine whether the claimed subject matter is patentable. The criteria for determining whether software is patentable include the following: novelty, non-obviousness, definiteness, and usefulness. Moreover, a software patent specification must disclose the claimed subject matter in such a way that a person of ordinary skill in the relevant art could perform the same function.

Applicants of software patents should seek the advice of a USPTO-registered patent practitioner, especially if the product is not yet in the market. Software patents are typically written in the form of method claims, which capture the features and uses of software. The Myriad, Mayo, and Alice decisions have altered long-held approaches to protecting new software applications. For a software patent to be valid, the application must disclose all of the essential details, including its functionality.

As with any other patent, the technical details of a software invention are vital in determining whether or not it is patentable. The technical details of a software patent application should tie the claimed software to the specific technical benefits. Moreover, a software patent application must focus on the challenges that the software poses. However, it should not be a mere technical improvement that requires a patent. In general, software patents must advocate inventiveness and a computer program must be an important part of the invention.

The patentability of software is determined by whether the program can be broken down into a process. Such a program is considered “processable.” Software that can be broken down into a series of steps is patentable. However, software that is purely abstract is not patentable. For example, software that can speed up a process or use less resources must have additional elements that make it patent-eligible. So, the application must be carefully written in order to protect the idea.

Criteria to be met to get your patent for software code

The software industry is booming. It is extremely flexible and has huge innovation potential. Software engineers can create new technical capabilities, fix bugs, and release new software with simple downloadable updates. Software patents are rare because they mainly protect mathematics, rather than actual software. Copyright and trade secrets provide substantial IP protection for software. Here are the main criteria to meet for software patent eligibility. To protect your software creations, you must first have a working computer and a good software project.

The patent specification must tell a person skilled in the art how to create and use the invention. It should also be illustrated by flow charts that depict the logic of the software. The software should be sufficiently detailed for a programmer to create the same program. Hence, the inventor must explain the invention in terms that a programmer could easily understand. Therefore, the specification should be written in the same way as if it were a computer program.

A patent application must have a novel, inventive concept. The inventor must have created a patented process or product that would not have existed before filing the patent application. This step is not straightforward. There are a number of technical requirements and nuances to follow. The application must also meet the USPTO’s requirements. In addition, the patent applicant must have the ability to produce an exemplary product.

And finally, the patent applicant must demonstrate that the invention is valuable.

Generally, software patents must meet four criteria. First, the code must be patent eligible. Second, the claims must be novel, useful, and non-obvious. Third, the software must not have been previously published. The fourth criteria is whether the software has a technical innovation that relates to the law of nature. Moreover, the software must have functional characteristics. The patent applicant must also demonstrate that the software and hardware resources work together.

Inventive step

Inventive step is an important factor in determining whether a certain program or technology qualifies for a patent. Inventive step is a test used in patent challenges, where one side will argue that the new technology or method was not obvious. Inventive step is an important factor because it can help prevent companies from patenting software or computer code that is only marginally improved over existing products. Here are some of the best ways to prove that your software or computer code is new.

  • The examining division will evaluate a software code’s novelty on the basis of whether it is new. Whether a program or technique is new will depend on whether it can be readily implemented by a skilled person with the same knowledge. This means that an ordinary computer user is unlikely to have thought of it first. An inventive step is not necessary if a person who understands the concept would have envisioned the technology.
  • In this context, an order management system or method could qualify for a patent. For example, a program could unitarily manage the ordering process by automatically storing information about a department or section. If the software is a computer program, the inventive step is the use of a new mathematical algorithm that is not obvious to the general public. For example, if a company makes an image enhancement software program, it might be able to obtain a patent for the new algorithm. However, patentability would depend on the non-obviousness of the algorithm.

Using this technique, a hypothetical software development team is required to use the best available equipment and sufficient time to implement the invention. The hypothetical team should also be credited with the best available equipment, sufficient time, and sufficient funding. These factors should not be a limiting factor in determining whether or not the proposed software is useful. It will also provide a clearer picture of the scope of the invention, allowing the patenting office to make a decision more quickly.


If you’re looking to patent software code, there are several aspects to consider, including non-obviousness. This requirement applies to any software invention and is highly subjective. A skilled patent attorney can provide guidance on whether a certain piece of software is novel and not obvious. Here are some tips for establishing novelty:

  • The Supreme Court’s flexible approach to the obviousness inquiry is reflected in numerous pre-KSR decisions. MPEP SS 2144 provides multiple lines of reasoning that support the obviousness determination, including the use of common sense and ordinary practices. This type of reasoning is sanctioned by the KSR opinion. The Court has since affirmed the Graham v. John Deere Co. decision.
  • To avoid the risk of losing a software patent, the Patent Office must determine that the software is new and useful. Patented software must be distinctly different from any other software, so it is important to make sure the claims you submit are unique and useful. If the software is obvious to users, the Patent Office will find that it is not new or useful. The patent must also meet non-obviousness criteria under 35 U.S.C. 103.
  • If A+B doesn’t work as the examiner predicted or hypothesized, this may be a strong rebuttal of the obviousness rejection. In this case, the patent office must find the obviousness in the invention, even if this doesn’t constitute a significant part of its claims. A patent that is clearly and concisely states the Office’s findings and conclusions of fact will lead to an expedient resolution of obviousness issues.

Inventive design

The process of patenting software code as an inventive design begins with establishing novelty. While most designs represent a combination of elements, there are still several ways to protect an inventive system. For instance, a medical device company may seek patent protection for a special pointing device. The application must be aware of prior art, and must explain how its pointing device is new. In such a case, a patent application may contain claims and a description of the code itself.