Derek Peterson, Vice President of Software and Business Development at IPS, discussed how to protect your software by targeting what is patentable at Launchpad LI (@) in Huntington last week. Highlighted in this video are inside tips he made during the presentation. Click the video above or you can watch it here.
Here are some tips from Derek on protecting your software:
Determine the essential elements of your software product.
These elements should be the ones that distinguish your invention from known technology.
Take immediate steps.
You may lose your right to patent if you offer it for sale or disclose it publicly without patent protection. (When has your product been officially “announced” even if not yet for sale?)
Be prepared to establish the novelty of your idea. Keep good records of its development including dates, drawings, etc. and round up witnesses.
Choose an approach.
Attorney or Self: You will need an attorney’s help at key points along the way, but you can save on fees if you handle your own research and writing drafts of the patent.
Provisional vs Permanent
Holding Trade Secrets: Submitting a patent application results in some of your ideas becoming known. If that is a big issue, consider holding your ideas as trade secrets.
Where can I look for existing patents to compare with my own IP?
You can use the USPTO website, or Google patents. Make sure the claims you’re making for your product or invention are completely distinct from all other patents out there. If they are not, it can drastically slow down the process. Your research and your attorney will help determine what’s not patentable and find windows of opportunity.
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