I am developing a software application. At the heart of it is a method which I think passes the tests for 'patent-ability' and I am planning to lodge a provisional application just before I launch.
The challenge is though, that like many software projects, there are numerous 'add-ons' that can be built, and many of these would also pass the test for patenting.
When it comes to IP, my priorities are to:
- Protect the method at the heart of my software to prevent copy-cats, and
- Protect my right to make novel additions in the future
Since I have no money and am reasonably short on time I am looking for the most efficient approach to IP protection. In an ideal world - according to my understanding - I would submit a full patent application for the initial method, and one for each novel addition.
In view of my constraints I am thinking of:
- Submitting a provisional application for the core method, and
- Publicly releasing information about future additions, for example in blog posts, presentations, etc
If I do this well, does it achieve my two IP protection priorities? Does it prevent copy cats? And am I free to build the add-ons that I make public early on? Or... is there a better way?
I have considered detailing all the add-ons in my initial provisional application while discussing a method of performing the invention, however it would add quite an overhead to the process so my strong preference is not to.