Do US software patents hold in the EU and elsewhere in the world? I want to develop software that is patented in the US By this request. I know that Software is not patentable in the EU.

Will the software infringe on this patent if I am in the EU? Will I be able to distribute this software only Outside the US?

  • You should read a little further in the linked Wikipedia article. You will see “ but this exclusion from patentability only applies to the extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates to a computer program as such.” A program “per se” can’t be patented in the EPO, but computer implemented inventions can be patented there.
    – George White
    Jan 15, 2023 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


All patents are territorial. US patents only protect in the US. In principal, so long as you only do business outside the US, a US patent shouldn't stop you.

The cited document is a patent application. It is important to look for the actual issued patent, if available, as the claims can be substantially different in issued patents than their applications. The application listed was granted as US7973762B2. This patent seems to have a hardware component to it so it isn't strictly a software patent. I want to point out that I am not a patent attorney myself so this isn't legal advice.

So long as you do business strictly outside the US, US7973762B2 shouldn't be an issue. However this doesn't mean there aren't other relevant patents that exist where you want to do business. The best course of action is to perform a "freedom to operate" analysis which is typically performed by a patent attorney.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .