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Software Patents – Innovation is Usually in the Details

The importance of detail in software patent applications (and practically speaking other categories) cannot be understated. The above video discusses some issues around detail in a patent application. A call to the office often starts with “Can I get a patent on a blockchain/IoT/cryptocurrency/dating app”? This is too little detail for any meaningful assessment. Some of the hurdles in a technology patent application include being deemed an abstract idea, novelty (loosely meaning that the technology is the same as another disclosed technology), or obvious (loosely meaning that the technology not meaningfully technically different than what is in the technical public domain). At this stage, the broad idea of a cryptocurrency employing a blockchain would likely be deemed an abstract idea in addition to lacking novelty based on something such as Satoshi’s white paper.

Some takeaways

  • Make an effort to describe the meaningful inventive aspects, that is to say what you have done that other innovators have not.
  • Stating that an “algorithm” is performed is rarely helpful. Disclosing the steps in the algorithm, the inputs, the processing, and the output for each steps is more meaningful disclosure.
  • There are a lot of innovative people in the world. A patent application for just “a dating app,” “a social media app,” or a “security app” is fraught with higher risk and higher cost.


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