There is a spirited debate playing out around the world today about the extent to which software-related innovations should be able to be patented.
Whatever side you fall on in the public debate, it can be risky and costly to not pursue patents for your most valuable software innovations, both in the United States and worldwide.
All the proof needed can be found in some of the largest and most successful companies in the world.They all actively pursue computer software patents as a regular course of business.The following two companies in particular prove why it’s smart to patent your software.
IBM has been a worldwide leader in innovation for more than a hundred years.They’ve also been the nationwide leader in “most patents earned” every year for over two decades.According to a recent Forbes article, IBM set the all-time record for the most patents earned by a single company with 8,088 U.S. patents in 2016.The article also mentions that most of those patents were in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics and states: “The company’s patent bounty is the result of a deliberate focus on R&D, especially in the field of artificial intelligence.”
This focus on patent bounties is a big part of why IBM is still a leader in technology and innovations for more than 100 years..They have been able to protect and monetize the hard work, creativity, due diligence and testing required to bring these innovations to life.They have been able to fend off competitors that would seek to piggyback off of their research and cut into their market share by not respecting their intellectual property rights.
The same Fortune article that detailed IBM’s 24th year in a row at the top of the U.S. Patents Earned list also included Amazon at the number 14 spot on the 2016 list.That represents a 46% increase in patents earned by the ecommerce giant from 2015.It’s clear that Amazon is aggressively pursuing patent protection for its significant R&D investments.
A recent article on Amazon’s patent strategies snoted that Amazon had filed for patent protection for a beehive-like fulfillment centerthat is a home for its delivery drones.The beehive-like structure certainly involved significant investments in R&D, and includes new technologies in the electronic, mechanical and software arts.Supply chain management, fulfillment, and logistics are now often driven by software innovations, and Amazon an industry leader in those areas.Their patent strategy reflects their commitment protecting their R&D investments in their continuing quest for technological improvements..
Not All Computer Software is Patentable
This is not to say that every software program or app is patentable.However, it is clear that some software inventions are not only patentable but can also become some of the most valuable assets of your company. It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced software patent attorney if you have developed a software program or app that offers consumers new innovations and efficient processes.
The attorneys at TIPS Group have delivered experienced and cost-effective representation for tech companies and entrepreneurs with computer software patents and technology-related legal issues throughout the country and around the world. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation: 1-888-818-5481.