A guide to software patents

Software is playing a greater role in all aspects of innovation. Innovative software has become much more than desktop computer applications and can be found in a huge number of products providing advantageous functionality and control, especially as products become more connected.

While more and more businesses are becoming interested in patenting their software and gaining the advantages of owning these patents, there is still a lot of confusion out there as to what is actually possible.

For companies in the field of software, your IP is often critical to defining the value of your business.

  • It will provide you with commercial advantage;
  • allow you to create exclusivity;
  • protect your products, processes and USP from the unwanted attention of your competitors.
  • If your are seeking investment, your IP becomes even more crucial.

You need to understand the potential importance of your IP, how it could support your company and the part it will need to play in order to deliver your business plan. You also need to understand how you can exploit your IP to create value for your company.

This guide has been divided into 11 easy-to-digest sections which have been designed to provide guidance on maximising the value of your software-based innovations. This will involve appreciating and understanding the intellectual property you own, and how to best manage it.

  1. Can you patent software?
  2. What is the right type of software for patents?
  3. IP-rights, business plans and why protecting software is important
  4. Webinar 1: Patenting software and how it can support your business
  5. Copyright and trade secrets
  6. Invention spotting
  7. Sector-specific thoughts
  8. IP and business plans revisited
  9. Webinar 2: Software patents – case studies
  10. Confidentiality and collaboration agreements
  11. Freedom to Operate explained