Our patent attorneys specialise in finding the best way to protect software

Can you patent software? This is a question that has, for some time, been as complex as it is confusing. And providing a conclusive answer isn’t made any easier by the fact that every jurisdiction seems to have a different approach.

At Potter Clarkson, our view is straightforward. Patent protection is most definitely available for certain types of software and other code-based and computer-implemented inventions.

Under the UK Patents Act and the European Patent Convention, a patent may be granted for inventions which can be proven to be new and inventive.

The picture becomes less clear when potential ‘non-inventions’ like computer programs, mathematical methods, scientific theories, and business methods are involved. However, we stress that even in these cases while there can be challenges to overcome, they are not always insurmountable.

When the picture is unclear, our specialist software team can help you clarify your position and identify how best to apply for patent protection for your software or computer-implemented inventions.


And we can’t stress highly enough just how important it can be for you to obtain patent protection for your software if it is possible. If software production is your business’ primary function, your IP will be critical to defining and defending the value of your business.

  • A patent will protect your commercial advantage.
  • A patent will provide you with exclusivity.
  • A patent will protect your products, processes, and commercial advantage from the unwanted attention of your competitors.
  • Or if you are seeking investment, your patent will maximise the value of your business.


Our start-point is always the same. 

Our hugely experienced patent attorneys will begin by taking an in-depth look at your software and business plan using our proprietary Kick-StartiP model, identifying the innovation at the heart of your software and cross-referencing this against the rules and available options for patenting software.

We will then provide you with our view as to whether your software is patentable before setting out the best route to obtaining patent protection for your software in a way that supports your commercial objectives.

Finding this best route is fundamental to your software’s success.

We can advise you on whether to patent your invention, whether to keep it a trade secret or whether another form of intellectual property right would be more suitable.

Our specialist software team are here to help you make these business-critical decisions. 

We will make sure you have the IP strategy you need to ensure your software achieves the commercial success you want it to whether that success is measured by market share, investment, licensing and additional revenue streams, or the highest value at exit.

If you would like to discuss how best to protect your software, please contact our specialist software team today.