Software Patent

Relate to a software product or discovery in the field of software. Software patent is higly controversial and there are people who are for it and there are those who consider it a stumbling block in the invention and development of new software product.

Patent provides an organization or individual exclusive rights to protect their products or concepts from the others. For a specified period of time the patent rights are provided to the individual and during those specified period the patentee is free to use his concept for doing business. However if anyone tries to use the patentees concept, product or technique to make profits then this is termed a patent infringement.

The application for patent is filed in the patent office which falls under the jurisdiction of the applicant which in majority of the cases is the country in which the applicant is residing. However there are regional forums also like European Patent Office where also the application can be filed.

The most important thing is that the application must be properly prepared because complete application which presents the case strongly goes a losing way in ensuring that the applicant is granted the patent. So, a patentee should carefully prepare the patent application.

The applicant for software patent has to go through the process of patent prosecution wherein he has to interact with the patent office as why he should be granted patent of the respective product. The applicant has to put forth strong argument-he should prove that the software invention which he is claiming to be his own is beneficial to the society and if patent is granted to him then this won’t become a stumbling block in the invention of the new product. There is also patent litigation which deals with the legal aspects of the patent.

There are different types of patents such as plant patents, software patents, design patents and utility patents. Patent office also contains different types of application which can be used for different purposes.

There are many free software programs which are available for the use of the people in general; so if patents are provided then there remains a fear that it will hamper the growth of the software product. It was because of this many software programmers were unable to continue with their research work because they were unable to pay the fee asked by the company who had got license of that particular software programs.

Understanding the problem many software firms such as Microsoft, IBM etc. offered free patent license which enabled many developers to carry on with their research work. This was indeed commendable but in many cases still the developers have to suffer the most for want of money or resources.

Although software companies are trying hard that software patent should not become a stumbling bloc in the invention of new software products; still much is needed to be done.

So it is imperative that the patent application forms should be filled with utmost care. And during the patent pending period too it must be ensured that the others are not trying to use the applicant’s product for their own benefit.