For innovations in the business world, their creators (or the respective companies) are keen on getting a patent. A patent is more than just getting the recognition, it gives you rights to your innovation and intellectual property protection.
For software patents (different from copyright or trademark applications), get tips and other reminders before you complete your application.
Whether you are the main creator, or a joint creator for your product, all the names of the people in your team must be listed. Any omissions might create a problem for you in the long run. More than just recognition, this also gives you an edge in your claim, because if everyone has been listed, no one among them can claim it for their own. Here are some steps and information to consider in registering your software patents.
First, create a draft for your patent. There are references and books that can guide you in creating your draft. While you can hire someone to create it for you, you can save more money by drafting it yourself and just have someone proofread it for you. It saves you money and time by not having someone go out and spend a lot of time trying to understand what to draw or to draft. Since you are the creator, you have a better understanding of the systems and related information. Somebody else can just do the finishing touches.
Different countries have different laws, procedures and processes when it comes to software patents.
- In Columbia, you can register through mail. This involves filling out forms, sending them to the appropriate office, paying the necessary fees, and waiting 15 business days to get feedback. You can also register electronically through their local website.
- In the US, drawings are an important part of your application. Most applications will require that you draw and not just describe the details of your creation. Especially for the technical aspects, every word should be so specific that they would not raise any questions or create a loophole for somebody else to patent the same or similar software.
For example, if you say "Program X connects with Program Y", a similar application would go for "Program Y links to Program X."
Note that what you are drawing are the specifics of your creation, and all of your unique ideas should be detailed in it, making it harder for somebody else to go around it.
- In Europe, there might be some difficulty, because if you have software or "computer-implemented inventions which only solve a business problem using a computer, rather than a technical problem", these are not processed for patent.
In the UK, software creators have the same difficulty as their European counterparts, as software or ‘other computer applications' are not eligible for patents.
As important as it is for you to dedicate time, knowledge, and services to your software creation, it is equally important that you know the implications of your patent. Remember that apart from gaining intellectual property rights, you also have a responsibility in allowing innovation from others as well.