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How do I patent software?

There has been a flurry of legal actions based on infringement of software patents?

How can one patent software?

Is an idea good enough to patent? Or does there have to be working code?

Ram Dass
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I'm sorry, but I currently hold a patent on patent inquires via electronic mediums.  Could you please delete your question?

M H
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I hold a patent on any kind of disucssion about the patent in public. Only I am allowed to the same.. So please delete all your posting about patent.

Instant
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I hold the patent on bad patent jokes. You'll both be hearing from my lawyers.

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Ram Dass,

Oh enlightened one, I suggest you browse the website of the US Patent office, and view a few of the patents as well. IANAL but I think you'll find you can patent a concept that you haven't quite turned into working code yet... I believe someone patented something similar to the WWW back in the 70's, but good luck trying to enforce that.

Otherwise, I suggest you find some good books on the subject, and talk to some patent attorneys.

I also suggest that you Be Here Now.

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Warning: IANAL  (I am not a lawyer).

My understanding is that you can copyright software as a finished product (like copyrighting a book or a movie).

However,  patenting applies to the CONCEPT moreso than the finished product.

So, you might be able to patent a clever algorithm.  Or you might patent a process (one-click ordering, patented by Amazon, I think, comes to mind).

I think there are better ways to protect yourself than patents.  If you're the "little guy" and you're only protection from Microsoft is a legal patent, look out. 

And, remember, to apply for the patent you have to explain HOW and WHAT you're doing.  So, then your competitor might just figure a way around your patent, perhaps by adding a widget or taking something away.

My $.02 worth.

Entrepreneur
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

You can patent an idea. You dont need working code.
I have done this, although right near the end, I let the patent lapse. Too much money. Talk to a patent lawyer for proper advice.
Regs,

James Ladd
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

How to patent software:

Just think of any random phrase and add "on the Internet".  You don't even need a working program.

T. Norman
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I would suggest that you submit your question on http://slashdot.org

That forum has a large group of users who I'm sure will be eager to comment on your inquiry.

:)

Rob VH
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Software patents suck, unless they're yours.

Gorkon
Wednesday, August 13, 2003

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