Often in software patents “A method, apparatus and system ...” is claimed.
With reference to USC 35 – section 101 then:
- is “method” used as synonymous for “process”?
- are “apparatus and system” both used as synonymous for “machine”?
Often software is claimed as a process. If I have a web server that is an hardware machine running an instance of an application (service) capable of accepting request from the client and give response accordingly, and I have an invention to claim that is a new process that a new service is able to perform on a web server, then I see three entities:
- hardware (like PC)
- software (like OS + web server + web services)
- steps of process performed by the service (like receiving an HTTP request, processing the HTTP request, sending an HTTP response).
Now when the formula “A method, apparatus and system ...” is used is it:
- “apparatus” = hardware
- “ method” = software + steps
or is it:
- “apparatus” = hardware + software
- “ method” = steps?
What is “system”?