How to Patent an App

How to Patent an App including a Desktop, Laptop or Mobile Application

Please note that a pure software algorithm that is disembodied from any technology or machine is probably not patentable subject matter because it is considered an “abstract idea”. As a result it is not within a category of “eligible subject matter” according to US patent laws and various court rulings. Therefore cannot it will not even be examined by the USPTO to determine if it is patentable.

However the software processes operating within an invention that enable the functioning of that invention can probably be included within the patent claims for the full invention. 

To patent an app, a nonprovisional patent application that includes the following must be carefully drafted:

  1. A set of patent claims that recite patent eligible subject matter that is not considered an “abstract idea”.
  2. Detailed software flowcharts showing all the steps of the software processes, with each flowchart step numbered and described in the textual part of the patent application. The software source code is not necessarily required.
  1. Detailed descriptions and explanations of the operation of your software algorithm.
  1. Detailed descriptions and explanations of how to make and use the hardware components of your invention that utilizes your software app. 

The software patent application is then filed with the USPTO where it is examined to determine if the invention meets the various patentability requirements.

How to Patent an App – Other Requirements

In order to patent an invention utilizing computer software such as a mobile app or desktop app, the invention must also satisfy the requirements of utility, novelty, and non-obviousness that all patentable inventions must satisfy.

To be eligible subject matter, the patent claims of an invention that utilizes software must also recite additional elements that amount to improvements to the functioning of a computer.

A software patent application, like any patent application, must also provide a full (enabling) disclosure and description of the invention. 

A patent application for an invention utilizing computer software should normally include flowcharts of the software process, and should include at least one block diagram of the computer hardware and (if applicable) computer network systems. 


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