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

Can you patent software? This is a question that has proved complex and confusing for some time. Every jurisdiction seems to have a difference approach, which means it’s not easy to provide a conclusive answer.

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 if an invention is 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, even in these cases, the challenges are not necessarily 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.


We can’t stress highly enough how important it is to obtain patent protection for your software when possible. If software production is the primary function of your business, your intellectual property (IP) is critical to defining and defending its value.

  • 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.
  • If you are seeking investment, your patent will maximise the value of your business.


Our starting point is always the same.

Our hugely experienced patent attorneys will begin with an in-depth look at your software and business plan using our proprietary Kick-StartiP model. They’ll identify the innovation at its heart and cross-reference it against the rules and available options for patenting software.

We’ll then give you our view as to whether your software is patentable before setting out the best route to obtaining patent protection 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 it should be a trade secret, or whether another form of IP right would be more suitable.

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

We will make sure you have the IP strategy you need for your software to achieve its desired commercial success, whether that’s 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.