Can You Patent Software? Protecting Your Tech
3 minute read
April 19, 2024


The complexity and abstract nature of software present unique challenges for patenting—so much so that many developers may even question if you can patent software in the first place. 

With the increasing value of software innovations, understanding the patentability of software is crucial for protecting intellectual property rights and fostering innovation. 

Let’s explore the process of patenting software and show you the importance of securing protection for your technological advancements.

Contact Stanzione & Associates PLLC for a free consultation

Can I patent my software idea?

Yes, software ideas can be patented—but with specific considerations. 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows for the patenting of almost anything so long as it constitutes:

  • A process
  • A machine, manufacture, or composition of matter
  • Any new and useful improvement thereof 

Regardless of what you are trying to patent (software or otherwise), it must meet the standard patentability criteria of novelty, non-obviousness, and utility. 

Simply put, your developed software must offer a novel technical solution to a problem or a new way of accomplishing a task.

Can you patent the application of a technology?

Patenting the application of a technology, including software applications, can fall under the above criteria. 

In other words, if the application presents a novel and non-obvious way of using existing technology to achieve a specific result, then the answer is yes, it’s possible. 

The key is that the application must embody a unique method or process not apparent to others skilled in the same field.

What are the benefits of patenting your software?

The key benefits of patenting software include the following.

Establishing ownership and protection against unauthorized use

A software patent gives the owner the legal right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented invention. This helps define who is responsible for the system and ensures protection against third parties.

Generating licensing revenue

Software patents can provide leverage to negotiate licenses with other companies, allowing the patent owner to generate additional revenue streams from their invention. 

This can be especially valuable when licensing to larger players who may not have an incentive to pay otherwise.

Serving as a “defensive publication”

Even if a full patent is not obtained, the patent application itself can prevent others from getting a patent on the same algorithm or functionality.

Increasing the value of the company

Software patents are considered valuable intellectual property assets, especially if the company is sold or acquired down the line.

Overall, the potential benefits around ownership, revenue generation, and increasing a company’s value can make pursuing a software patent a worthwhile strategy for software innovators.

What is the general process of patenting software?

To patent software, you start by documenting its unique aspects, conduct a thorough patent search, then decide on a provisional or non-provisional application and prepare a detailed application including descriptions and claims. 

Finally, you submit this through the USPTO’s system, then work with an examiner to address any objections or requests.

Stanzione & Associates, PLLC, for your software protection

Patenting software can be a complex process, but securing a patent for your software innovation is invaluable in protecting your intellectual property and maintaining a competitive edge in the technology sector. 

Stanzione & Associates, PLLC, has the software patent experience you need to ensure that your hard-won software development is protected. 

Reach out for a free consultation today.

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