Patenting a software

181
6
Hello all:

Are we able to file a patent application for a software ? Or we can only file it for an algorithm ? Like for example an encryption algorithms

I have a family member wants to file one at the us patent office and I am trying to give some advice.

Is it worth the time that we are going to spend on it ?
 

jrmichler

Science Advisor
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Question 1:
Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Check the (assuming you are in the US) US Patent Office site at: https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-process-overview#step2, plus see a good discussion at: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/examination-software-patents.

Question 2:
This is definitely a MAYBE. Is it worth spending time and money to get YOUR VERY OWN PATENT? Don't laugh, this is a very real reason. Is there somebody that is willing to give you money for the software, or rights to the software? Are starting a business, and need financing? People who finance startups place a high value on patents (and patent applications). This is one of the largest real world reasons to apply for a patent.

Note that it is possible to apply for a patent by yourself without an attorney. The USPTO has guidelines for doing exactly that. It is not a good idea if you need a patent that will stand up to attack by Big Bad Corporation, Inc., but if your needs are more modest, it is a viable option.

In any case, it is well worth your/their while to spend some time doing a patent search. Your patent search will not mean much legally, but it can tell you if somebody else thought of it first, in which case the idea is not patentable.
 

berkeman

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Are we able to file a patent application for a software ?
I was under the impression that software is usually protected via copyright, not patent, but I could be wrong.

Paging @berned_you
 

Vanadium 50

Staff Emeritus
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Don't we need someone who is an expert in Lebanese patent law?
 

berkeman

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Don't we need someone who is an expert in Lebanese patent law?
Good point. But unless there is a huge market for this program in Lebanon, he may be asking about international patents/copyrights...
 

Vanadium 50

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He may be thinking that. But that's not what he's writing. Again, we're back to the perennial PF game "Guess what the OP wanted to ask".
 
181
6
Thanks
No, i am not asking about Lebanese patent system , I am asking about United States patent system

By the way I am from Syria living currently in Lebanon

Best
H
 

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