Software, Apps and Computer Patents

A huge amount of innovation occurs in the software sector in the development of new software applications for smartphones and tablets and also in the server processes that often drive their functionality. Many established industries are being modernised by the introduction of crowdsourced services or cloudbased management or networking systems to deliver existing products or services more efficiently or by altogether new SAAS products.

Software patents do sometimes receive negative press, partially because software patents, drafted professionally by a patent attorney, can be very effective at stopping or delaying competition. Where a software process provides a new, non-obvious and useful method for performing a given task, software patent applications are still patentable subject matter in most jurisdictions, provided that the software patent application is tailored to the specific requirements of the jurisdiction where patent protection is being sought.

What types of software can be patented?

Software patent applications that define a new method or process for solving a particular real-world problem in a way that would not be obvious to the average software developer is likely to be patentable in Australia. Apps or software which simply provide efficiency or speed in performing a known task that could be performed by hand (however inefficiently) are unlikely to be patentable. That is, if you remove the elements of a computer device from the claim, and all that is left is a known method, then use of the computer or software will not be sufficient to make the claim patentable. If you are unsure whether your software can be patented, you should consult your Australian patent attorney.

Examples of Granted Software, Apps and Computer Patent applications

  • Software patent applications
  • Mobile patent applications (smartphone and/or tablet apps)
  • Hardware patent applications
  • Server and client systems patent applications
  • Cloud based systems patent applications
  • Artificial Intelligence patent applications
  • Robotics patent applications
  • Crowdsourced services patent applications
  • Software as a service (SAAS) patent applications
  • Object recognition patent applications
  • Social media patent applications

What countries are most software patent friendly?

  • United States of America
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan