Can You Patent An App? A Guide for Entertainment Developers

Can You Patent an App?

If you are an entertainment developer who has created a unique and innovative app, you might be wondering if you can patent it.

After all, you don’t want someone else to copy your idea and take credit for your hard work.

But can you patent an app? And if so, how do you go about it?

The short answer is yes, you can patent an app, but not the code itself.

You can patent the technical processes or methods that your app uses to perform certain functions or achieve certain results.

For example, you can patent a new way of streaming music, a new way of editing photos, or a new way of playing games.

However, patenting an app is not easy or cheap. It involves a lot of research, documentation, and legal fees.

You also need to meet certain criteria to qualify for a patent.

In this article, we will explain the steps and requirements for patenting an app, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.

Can You Patent An AppCourtesy:Spiceworks
Can You Patent An App

Steps to Patent an App

The process of patenting an app can be divided into the following steps:

  1. Document your app idea. You need to write down everything about your app, such as the features, functions, design, and purpose. You also need to make sketches or diagrams to illustrate how your app works. This will help you define the scope and novelty of your invention.
  2. Do a patent search. Before you apply for a patent, you need to make sure that your app idea is not already patented by someone else. You can use online databases such as Google Patents or the USPTO website to search for existing patents that are similar or related to your app. You can also hire a professional patent attorney or agent to do a more thorough search for you.
  3. File a provisional patent application. A provisional patent application is a temporary application that gives you a filing date and allows you to use the term “patent pending” on your app. It does not require a formal examination or approval by the USPTO. It is cheaper and easier to file than a non-provisional patent application, but it only lasts for 12 months. You need to file a non-provisional patent application within that period to keep your priority date.
  4. File a non-provisional patent application. A non-provisional patent application is the formal application that will be examined and granted by the USPTO if it meets the criteria for patentability. It requires a detailed specification, claims, drawings, and fees. It also requires a declaration of inventorship and an oath or declaration that you are the original inventor of the app.
  5. Wait for the examination and approval. After you file your non-provisional patent application, it will be assigned to an examiner who will review it and compare it with prior art (existing patents or publications). The examiner may issue an office action that rejects or allows some or all of your claims. You may need to respond to the office action by amending your claims or arguing against the rejection. This process may take several months or years until you receive a final decision from the USPTO.

Requirements for Patenting an App

To be eligible for a patent, your app must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be novel. This means that your app must not have been disclosed, published, sold, or used by anyone else before your filing date.
  • It must be useful. This means that your app must have a practical purpose and function.
  • It must be non-obvious. This means that your app must not be something that would be obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the relevant field.

Benefits of Patenting an App

Patenting an app can have several benefits, such as:

  • It gives you exclusive rights to make, use, sell, or license your app for 20 years from your filing date.
  • It protects your app from being copied or imitated by competitors.
  • It increases the value and credibility of your app in the market.
  • It attracts investors and partners who are interested in your app.
  • It allows you to enforce your rights against infringers and seek damages or injunctions.

Drawbacks of Patenting an App

Patenting an app can also have some drawbacks, such as:

  • It is expensive and time-consuming. You need to pay fees for filing, examination, maintenance, and legal services. You also need to wait for a long time before you get your patent granted.
  • It is not guaranteed. You may face rejections or challenges from the USPTO or other parties who may question the validity of your patent.
  • It is limited in scope and duration. Your patent only covers what you claim in your application and only lasts for 20 years from your filing date.
  • It is public information. Your patent application and grant will be published online and accessible by anyone who wants to see it.

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