Software Patents

Software patents can be valuable especially in that a significant amount of commercial activity occurs in today’s online realm. Patentec specialises in protecting software related inventions in Australia and around the world.
This page will examine the patentability of software in Australia and around the world, our expertise and how we value when protecting your software related inventions.

Is your software patentable?

Recent Australian court case decisions have made it clear that not all software is patentable. As such, how do you tell if your software is patentable?

Two important Australian court cases, Research Affiliates LLC and RPL Central show the demarcation where software becomes patentable

Let’s look at these two important Australian court cases in more detail to find the demarcation between patentable and non-patentable software:

#Court case 1Court case 2
Court Case Research Affiliates LLC RPL Central
Which Australian Patent? Patent Application 2005213293 Patent Application 2009100601
What was the patent about? The invention used complex computer implemented arithmetic formulae to create a novel system of indexing a securities market. In other words, the invention was a tool to perform equations. The retrieval of relevant data from a remotely located server via the internet and the generation of questions for calculating an individual’s competency according to a recognised qualification standard.
Exemplary Diagram Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents Patent Application 2005213293 Patent Application 2009100601 RPL Central Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2013] FCA 871
Verdict NOT PATENTABLE PATENTABLE
Why? Mere computer implementation of an otherwise non-patentable abstract idea does not confer patentability The computer is inextricably linked with the invention itself and is therefore patentable.
As such, at present, in Australia, the demarcation as to whether as to whether your software related invention is patentable is whether the involvement of the computing device is inextricably linked to the invention itself.

Simply put, something that is not patentable does not become patentable if simply implemented by a computer.

How we patent software

Let’s look at the strategies we employ when patenting software related inventions in Australia and around the world:

Strategy 1: Drafting patentable software patent applications

As is clear from the above court cases, not all software is patentable and oftentimes, whether your software related patent application is deemed to be patentable during examination depends on whether your patent specification has been prepared from the correct technical perspective to show the requisite “inextricable linkage” between the steps performed by the computer software and the underlying technical architecture.

As such, we prepare patent specifications from the correct technical perspective, so as to maximise the patentability of our client’s application.

For example, have a look at an exemplary image and associated description (click for more detail) from one of our patent specifications relating to a mobile phone app related invention:

Mobile Phone System for software related patent application
Mobile Phone Description for software related patent application

As it is clear from the above, our patent specifications are technically thorough. This significantly reduces the possibility of the examiner forming the opinion that your software related application is simply an abstract idea or “mere business mathod” and is therefore not patentable.

Strategy 2: Enhancing the enforceability of software patents

Patentec further claims your software invention from multiple perspectives to ringfence different system actors to maximise the enforceability of the eventually granted patents.

Consider the following diagram:
Patenting software in Australia by claiming the invention from multiple perspectives

Ringfencing different system actors enhances the enforceability of the patent

As can be seen:

  • the broad system claim covers the entire operation of the software related invention providing for indirect infringement of all of the system actors;
  • the service provider claims allows for direct infringement of the patent by the operator of the host server;
  • the end user claims allow for direct infringement of the patent by the customer;
  • the computer method claim provides for a technology agnoistic claim to cover technical variations; and
  • the computer code claims protects anyone on possession of source code, or the uploading thereof to an app store, for example.
Strategy 3: Drafting international patent specifications

The rules relating to the patentability of software differ from country to country. Such differences arise from the different Patents Acts in each country and the frequent court cases interpreting these legislative provisions.

As such, patentability of software is a continually evolving aspect of patent law in countries around the world.

Patentec patent attorneys keeps abreast of these developments by following case decisions in countries around the world such as America and the US and more. Our attorneys are thought leaders in patenting of software related inventions around the world including in having lectured at peer-attended LegalWise seminars and having been quoted in IP journals on software patentability issues.

In this way, we prepare patent specifications in the correct manner so as to satisfy the patent law requirements in your chosen countries.

Strategy 4: We use our extensive expertise

Our attorneys specialise in the protection of software related inventions having previously worked as software engineers, and having previously patent protected software related inventions including for tech giants such as Google, Nokia Corporation and IBM.

The table below shows a subset of the software related patent specifications that our patent attorneys have recently drafted

1. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900127
A computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for generating a budgeting representation
2. Business systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012905220
An application server and computer readable storage medium for generating project specific configuration data
3. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904269
A system, server and computer readable storage medium for managing serving of food types
4. Wireless sensing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901151
A system and computer implemented method for generating a proximity warning
5. Telecomms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902262
A method, local network subsystem, and mobile device for dynamically writing service data to a sim card
6. Utility control systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014901329
A system and a method for controlling water flow
7. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903687
A method, application server, mobile communication device and multimedia terminal for displaying interactive multimedia
8. Authentication Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900914
A system, an application server, a client computing device and a computer readable storage medium for facilitating Electronic key authentication
9. Business systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 2012241103
A computing system, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for algorithmic criteria assessment
10. Payment processing systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904979
A system, payment agent and computer readable storage medium for facilitating contactless mobile payment transactions
11. Logistics management Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903457
Method, system, computing device and computer readable storage medium for tracking freight transportation
12. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014904045
A mobile communication device operating system instance virtualisation server
13. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901015
A web server, client computing device, computer implemented method and computer readable storage medium for generating social network data
14. Payment processing systems Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2012/001436
A system, payment agent and computer readable storage medium for facilitating contactless mobile payment transactions
15. Heath & Wellness Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903411
A mobile computing device, application server, computer readable storage medium and system for calculating a vitality indicia
16. Authentication Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011903196
An automatic teller machine, computer readable storage medium and automatic teller machine implemented method for authenticating a user using an enhanced authentication technique
17. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904610
A system, fuel dispenser and point of sale computing device for ancillary items ordering
18. Business systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904796
A computing device and computer readable storage medium for automated sales activity target determination
19. Visualisation Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900748
A web server, computer readable storage medium, and a computer implemented method for generating animation data representing a recreational animation of a swim event
20. Digital Rights Management Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904961
A method and system for transmitting digital content data access rights in a digital content network
21. Visualisation Technology > Standard patent application No. 2014200288
A computing device, computer readable storage medium, a computer implemented method and a data schema for the visualisation of aetiological factors
22. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014900079
Computer-implemented method for calculating a rank in accordance with a set of data values
23. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901155
A web server, client computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for identifying an owner of a lost item
24. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900390
A method, personal computing device and computer readable storage medium for calculating field data from mainframe downloaded data
25. Logistics management Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2010904781
A method and system for reserving a logistics service for the transport of a customer’s freight
26. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014904005
A system for updating social graph data in accordance with social graph association request data received from a receiver mobile communication device
27. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011903496
A web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating e-commerce transactions
28. Security Systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014903717
A server for retrieving incident data including video footage data and patron location tracking
29. Green tech Technology > Standard patent application No. 2013206216
A lighting control system for reducing energy consumption
30. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904260
An alarm clock for configuring a dynamic alarm
31. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014901166
A computer implemented method and server for disseminating user generated content in an ad hoc social network
32. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901014
A computer implemented method, web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating a financial transaction between a vendor and a customer
33. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903815
Method and system for identifying at least one shopping item
34. eCommerce Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/001057
A server for selecting tag data
35. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011900298
A computer implemented method, system and computer readable storage medium for making memorial message data available
36. Point of sale systems Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/000951
A method, application server, mobile communication device and multimedia terminal for displaying interactive multimedia
37. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904341
A web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for providing real time bid success probability feedback in an online auction environment
38. Psychrometrics Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013262439
A system for automating the detection of problem gambling behaviour and the inhibition and control of gaming machine and gambling device functionality
39. Authentication Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902556
A system, web server and computer readable storage medium for verifying a driver’s licence
40. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902948
A server, client computing device, computer implemented method, computer readable storage medium and a system for associating one or more loyalty card profiles with a composite card profile
41. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012904825
A system, computing device and application server for voting
42. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900291
A system, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for conducting online real estate auctions
43. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014900958
A method, server, and computer readable storage medium for initiating a financial transaction
44. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014902572
A system and server for discounted item purchaser aggregation
45. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011902459
A server, client computing device, computer implemented method, computer readable storage medium and a system for associating one or more loyalty card profiles with a composite card profile
46. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903815
Method and system for identifying at least one shopping item
47. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902649
A web server, client computing device, computer implemented method and computer readable storage medium for calculating revenue for a content provider of a plurality of content providers in accordance with browser interaction with content provider submitted content data submitted by the plurality of content providers
48. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900462
A server, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for discounting payment transactions
49. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903940
A system, server and computer readable storage medium for location-based schedule monitoring
50. Visualisation Technology > Standard patent application No. 2014201191
A web server, computer readable storage medium, and a computer implemented method for generating animation data representing a recreational animation of a swim event
51. Augmented Reality Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902502
A mobile computing device, computer readable storage medium and server for promotional offering using augmented reality
52. Communication systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904458
A computing device, communication system implemented method and computer readable storage medium for providing on-hold services
53. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902619
A system, web server and computer implemented method for scheduling
54. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011905089
A system, fuel dispenser and point of sale computing device for ancillary items ordering
55. Mobile Apps Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/000842
A remote controlled fish finding system
56. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900965
Network based vending system
57. Authentication Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902936
A server implemented method, server, and computer readable storage medium for transmitting document metacontent
58. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012904060
A mobile computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for downloading an executable application
59. Imaging systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900359
A system for generating motion imagery of a target object
60. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011902720
A customer enquiry management server, client computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for managing customer enquiries
61. Webserver systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 2014200527
A system, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for conducting online real estate auctions
62. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013901376
A web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating e-commerce item relevance ranking
63. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011905409
A mobile computing device, point of sale computing device, backend server and computer readable storage medium for remote order processing
64. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011902112
A web server, client computing device, computer implemented method and computer readable storage medium for calculating revenue for a content provider of a plurality of content providers in accordance with browser interaction with content provider submitted content data submitted by the plurality of content providers
65. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903217
A mobile computing device, application server, computer readable storage medium and system for calculating a vitality indicia
66. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011900655
A computer implemented method, system and computer readable storage medium for categorising an item
67. Webserver systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 2012201659
A computer implemented method, web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for sElectively relating event data
68. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902327
A system, web server, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for relating user nodes in social graph data and a body parameter capture device for capturing body parameter data
69. Asset tracking systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 2012268831
System, portable unit and server for associating one or more livestock with a property, and a method of operation thereof
70. Communication systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012904845
A computing device, communication system implemented method and computer readable storage medium for providing on-hold services
71. Visualisation Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903237
A computer implemented method, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for rendering a map representation
72. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011903198
A computer implemented method, web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating a financial transaction between a vendor and a customer
73. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903962
A computing device for identifying at least one characteristic of a fish
74. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011900682
A computer implemented method, system and computer readable storage medium
75. Webserver systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 13/430,299
A computer implemented method, web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for sElectively relating event data
75. Webserver systems Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2012/001430
A computing device and computer readable storage medium for calculating sales activity target data in accordance with historical sales statistic parameter data
77. Aviation systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012905021
A system, flight booking subsystem, in-transit digital content playout means and computer readable storage medium for pre-caching passenger sElected in-transit entertainment digital content
78. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903102
A system, mobile communication device and computer readable storage medium for sending emergency notifications
79. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902479
A web server and computer readable storage medium for serving shopper profile data representing a shopper profile of a shopper, a database for managing clothing sizes and a computer readable storage medium for generating a shopping cart recommendation
80. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011900913
A computer implemented method, system and computer readable storage medium for suggesting an itinerary
81. Heath & Wellness Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012905157
A computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implement a method for generating meal plan data in accordance with biometric data
82. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900967
A web server, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for verifying a financial transaction between a contractor and a subcontractor and automating generation of financial assessments
83. eCommerce Technology > Innovation patent application No. 2012100127
A web server for vending ancillary services
84. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902311
A web server, client computing device, computer implemented method and computer readable storage medium for calculating revenue for a content provider of a plurality of content providers in accordance with browser interaction with content provider submitted content data submitted by the plurality of content providers
85. Visualisation Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900130
A computing device, computer readable storage medium, a computer implemented method and a data schema for the visualisation of aetiological factors
86. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901103
A computer implemented method, web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for sElectively relating event data
87. Authentication Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904453
A system, transaction server, authentication server and computer readable storage medium for authentic product marketplace transaction tracking
88. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904559
A bond derivative trading platform for infrastructure financing
89. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014904926
A computer implemented method for associating nodes of a social graph with location based content
90. Point of sale systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011901507
A system, vending machine, computer implemented method and computer readable storage medium for selecting and dispensing one or more mobile communication related items
91. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900083
A web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating e-commerce social group discounting
92. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903910
A system, server and computer readable storage medium for composing answer data
93. Financial transaction processing Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013901889
A computer and computer readable storage medium for identifying payment due data
94. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012901521
A web server, client computing device and computer readable storage medium for facilitating e-commerce item relevance ranking
95. Augmented Reality Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012902144
A mobile computing device, computer readable storage medium and server for discount offering using augmented reality using augmented reality
96. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900649
A server, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for discounting payment transactions
97. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012904511
A system, application server and computer readable storage medium for selecting a winning bidder from bidder participation data in accordance with bid data
98. eCommerce Technology > Standard patent application No. 2013206819
A server, client computing device, computer implemented method, computer readable storage medium and a system for associating one or more loyalty card profiles with a composite card profile
99. Mobile Apps Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903286
A remote controlled fish finding system
100. Ad serving systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902316
A method, an ad server, and computer readable storage medium for recording user advert interaction data
101. Psychrometrics Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/000523
A system for automating the detection of problem gambling behaviour and the inhibition and control of gaming machine and gambling device functionality
102. Webserver systems Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/001277
A system, computing device and application server for voting
103. Financial transaction processing Technology > Standard patent application No. 2013200573
A method, personal computing device and computer readable storage medium for calculating field data from mainframe downloaded data
104. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904948
A system, application server and computer readable storage medium for selecting a winning bidder from bidder participation data in accordance with bid data
105. Implant alignment systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 12749104.1
A computer-implemented method, a computing device and a computer readable storage medium for providing alignment information data for the alignment of an orthopaedic implant for a joint of a patient
106. Business systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012905393
A system for implementing an action in accordance with data from an input source
107. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013900740
A server for selecting tag data
108. Psychrometrics Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903142
A mobile computing device, application server and computer readable storage medium for detecting a user anxiety disorder
109. Point of sale systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 2012268861
A mobile computing device, point of sale computing device, backend server and computer readable storage medium for remote order processing
110. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902665
A system, content server and computer readable storage medium for aggregating user generated selection data
111. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013905036
A computing device for relating nodes and items in social graph
112. Therapeutic apparatus Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013904364
Method and computing device for recreating a user interface interaction
113. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013901442
A system, web server, and computer readable storage medium for scheduling healthcare provider appointments
114. Visualisation Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011903410
A system, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for generating a graphical user interface comprising time series representations of a plurality of events
115. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904018
A server, client computing device, casino gambling portal and computer readable storage medium for searching casino gambling portals according to prior gameplay outcome statistic search query data
116. eCommerce Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013902446
A system, mobile communication device and computer readable storage medium for displaying the location of at least one item
117. Content management systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2013903976
A method and publication agent server for serving Electronic content comprising Electronic publication syndicated data
118. Social Media Platforms Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012903379
A computer device and computer readable storage medium for generating sales performance statistic information and facilitating social property listings
119. Electronic Messaging Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2014900119
A computer implemented method for generating automated Electronic response communication message data
120. Business systems Technology > PCT patent application No. PCT/AU2013/001336
An application server and computer readable storage medium for generating project specific configuration data
121. Implant alignment systems Technology > Standard patent application No. 14/000,858
A computer-implemented method, a computing device and a computer readable storage medium for providing alignment information data for the alignment of an orthopaedic implant for a joint of a patient
122. Webserver systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904996
System, server, mobile device and computer readable storage medium for managing digital artefacts
123. Ad serving systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012901982
An ad server for serving ads, a device for receiving ads, computer readable storage medium for serving ads and computer readable storage medium for receiving ads
124. Business systems Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2011904221
A computing system, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for algorithmic criteria assessment
125. Augmented Reality Technology > Provisional patent application No. 2012900646
A mobile computing device, computer readable storage medium and computer implemented method for facilitating discounting using augmented reality

Get in touch to protect your software

As such, if you have a commercially valuable software related invention, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the patentable merit of your software application, identify patentable angles for protecting your software and choosing a patent strategy aligned to your commercialisation objectives.