Questions tagged [software]

Patents about software algorithms, methods implemented via computer software, and software interfaces

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39
votes
9answers
4k views

Prior art for linked list (secondary and tertiary traversal)?

This is the first I've heard of this patent for linked lists and traversals filed in 2002. Note that the claim is not a patent on a linked list itself (discussion on Hacker News), but apparently on a ...
33
votes
13answers
3k views

Prior art for video games played according to a selected value system such as the claimed “codes of honor”

US patent application 2012/0052930 is titled "System and method for the heros journey mythology code of honor video game engine and heros journey code of honor spy games wherein one must fake the ...
32
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4answers
2k views

What constitutes an original patentable idea in software?

We regularly hear a lot of news about software patents and how certain companies own or are buying gobs of patents in order to stave off potential law suits. What constitutes an original patentable ...
25
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2answers
1k views

Can software or a block of code under the GPL or a similar license be patented?

Regarding software, can an application or block of code licensed under the GPL (pre version 3), or a similar license requiring the source to be made available under the terms of the license after ...
19
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4answers
4k views

Are US software patents enforceable in the UK?

The UK Patent Act 1977 clearly states that It is hereby declared that the following (among other things) are not inventions for the purposes of this Act, that is to say, anything which consists of ....
16
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7answers
3k views

Prior art for a web-based system for commissioning software development

Maybe oDesk or eLance are the prior art, but this patent on providing software development services via a website probably has loads of prior art. US20120240097 A1 — Method of providing ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Prior art for “Style and layout caching of web content”

Microsoft's application aims to patent: Methods and systems for style and/or layout caching of Web content are usable to build reusable style caching trees and cacheable layout calculations. Such ...
16
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2answers
866 views

Can the non-obviousness of an invention be challenged if the difference to prior art is only the mathematical-statistical approach?

TL;DR Given a patent application describing a calculation using a maximum likelihood approach, and a piece of prior art that has the same goal but uses Monte Carlo simulation, is this sufficient to ...
15
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2answers
765 views

What are the possible consequences of using software developed outside of the US that infringes a software patent?

Suppose I'm developing a software and I operate in the country that doesn't recognize Software Patents. I make my software available for users in several countries including the United States. What if ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Prior Art for GoDaddy Patent Announcing a Domain Name Registration on a Social Website

DomainWire has announced that the USPTO has just issued a patent to GoDaddy that covers a method of announcing a domain name announcement on a social network. U.S. patent number 8,276,057. In my view, ...
14
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8answers
3k views

Double tap spacebar to insert period and capitalize next character (RIM) - Issued Patent - PRIOR ART REQUEST

AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON USER INTERFACE - This patent from RIM claims the idea of... doubletap spacebar to insert periods and capitalize! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications ...
13
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5answers
707 views

Prior art for bed management in healthcare

While browsing freshpatents.com for software patents, I happened upon Patent Application #20120226507, which seeks to patent a system for moving patient beds from one room to another. The claims: ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Prior art for SEO

Patent Application #20120016857 appears to be for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Here is its claim 1: A computer-readable medium comprising computer-readable instructions for providing search ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Was there a landmark controversial software patent of a trivial idea before the “XOR flashing cursor” patent?

Currently the majority of bad press about trivial software patents is all centred around Apple and other smartphone industry players. A few years ago it was the Amazon "1-click" patent everybody was ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Looking for prior art for patent application US20140196015 “Declaration of Lifetime resource reference”

I'm looking for prior art related to following patent: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2014/0196015.html DECLARATION OF LIFETIME OF RESOURCE REFERENCE A language extension that advances safety ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Can one patent software if that software uses a library that is Apache License, BSD, or MIT?

I just read that under BSD, Apache, and MIT Licenses, one can use, modify and redistribute source code in a product as long as credit for the open source portion is given back to the the author. That ...
12
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5answers
857 views

Patent on comparing two values which are put through a hash function to determine if the same

I came across this patent titled “Similarity-based access control of data in a data processing system” (priority date: 1995-04-11). Abstract: Similarity of data items is determined by analyzing ...
12
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4answers
1k views

How to build software if you're unaware of which parts can contain potential patent infringements

As of lately, I've noticed quite an increase in software algorithm patents, that is: patents that explain certain data structures and/or software algorithms. The problem I personally have with ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Are Software Development Methods patentable?

For example, if something like a method of Agile programming practices were singularly developed before they were popularly used, could a company have patented the 'system' including the parts that ...
12
votes
2answers
644 views

Consequences of unwilful US patent infringment by a foreign legal entity when establishing US presence

Suppose the following situation: A company is incorporated in a country other than U.S.A., which does not allow software patents (e.g. EU member countries). This company produces an invention as a ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What should I know before using “Patent Pending” in my products/ website?

Some years ago I read that you should not use the phrase "Patent Pending" in connection to products or marketing materials that do not actually feature or describe technology that is actually claimed ...
10
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2answers
735 views

How are damages calculated if found guilty of infringement?

If I am found guilty of a software patent infringement how does the court determine how much damage is done and how much I should pay?
10
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2answers
913 views

Prior art for new treatment for anxiety disorder

Consider this WIPO: METHODS FOR TREATING SOCIAL DISORDERS and its current 3 entries at national levels: #US20110027765 -> Reviewer has requested some changes in the claims but it's going forward. UK: ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Can a master's thesis be used as prior art?

I wrote software in 1973 under Federal grant for my MS. While studing at CWRU, one of the early ARPA net sites, I wrote graphics display software for Project LOGOS, a government supported effort and ...
9
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3answers
61k views

Can I patent a mobile application or protect the idea

I am about launching a mobile application soonest (in 5 days time) but I am really scared about others using the idea behind the whole system because the few people I have spoken to about investing in ...
9
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10answers
1k views

Prior art for Graphical Instance Instantiation

Microsoft filed US20120227028 Graphical programming object population user interface autogeneration, which describes the automatic generation of GUIs to instantiate objects. I vaguely recall seeing a ...
9
votes
1answer
502 views

Prior art request: US7263687 (Object-oriented enumerated type facility)

This is a post-grant prior art request for US7263687, which has a filing date of Sep. 9, 2002. This patent is a generalization of what most developers know as an enum in the Java programming language....
8
votes
4answers
559 views

Is Software Patentable?

I know there are many debates about it. Even in USA, a country very well known to be patent friendly, I'm still not sure if software is patentable. But how is the interpretation to allow software ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

General knowledge on how software patent-infringement lawsuits are evaluated

Technically someone has to check the suspected software code, to see if it infringes a specific patent. But What if the suspect claims, that it is his companys own trade secret? are trade secrets in ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Are data structures patentable?

US7028023 seems to be a patent for a data structure (a variation on a linked list with an extra pointer to the item after the next item). Are data structures generally considered patentable, if so, ...
8
votes
6answers
517 views

Auto correcting semantic code errors by executing code snippets and seeing which ones produce no errors

To be fair, I think this is a ridiculously better software patent than any of the other ones I've seen, but I bet there is prior art for it. The first claim: 1. A method for correcting semantic ...
8
votes
1answer
50 views

Prior Art from 2002 for XML to XSD generation?

In reference to the patent: US20110320926 I worked on a project that became an Apache (open source) project. The functionality and methods described in this patent existed in the Apache XMLBeans ...
8
votes
2answers
945 views

Does a software implementation count as prior art?

Does a software implementation count as prior art and sufficient proof to invalidate a patent application? Does it matter whether the implementation was closed-source, open-source or public-domain?
8
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3answers
5k views

Can teaching methods be patented?

I plan to develop an open-source software application that speaks words in a foreign language while displaying pictures that represent the words. Can teaching methods (such as Rosetta Stone's language ...
8
votes
4answers
353 views

Possible patent considerations when posting Source-Code online?

I am currently a Master's student in Engineering. Recently I have begun working on a project that (I believe) to have tremendous value and applicability to industry. Being that I am a master's ...
7
votes
11answers
1k views

MESH NETWORK GATEWAY AND SECURITY SYSTEM Patent Application – PRIOR ART REQUEST

HELP SAVE MESH NETWORKING — This application from Schlage seeks to patent a secure gateway between a mesh network and an IP network, and a lock device connected through the mesh network. Because mesh ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How detailed should a provisional patent application be? (Software)

I am considering filing for a provisional patent which deals with mobile and web technologies. Now this is a method to do something. But how detailed do I go? Right now, I have something working in ...
7
votes
5answers
809 views

Prior Art for Onsite backup for internet-based data processing

Our startup is trying to provide a backup solution for Google Apps for your domain. In principle it's a software running on the client computer. Our software then connects to Google via APIs (GData) + ...
7
votes
5answers
194 views

How to protect an app whose functionality is not novel, but the GUI is

I have an app whose purpose isn't novel, but the way the GUI helps serve that purpose is. There are many apps built for this same purpose, but not a single one of them have a GUI similar to mine. I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Software Patents: Claiming as a METHOD vs as a SYSTEM?

Software patents could be described in claims as methods or as systems. One cannot claim damages for infringement of METHODS until the method is used (e.g. when the software is run). But, one can ...
7
votes
2answers
546 views

Found patent that describes my iPhone app/Website idea, any options?

I've been working on an app/website that I planned to sell for iPhone and Android, but recently found a patent that describes the idea almost exactly. There are currently no apps that implement this ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Web site with restricted functionality until registers, then full functionality

US Patent #7,353,199 is about a system for creating a web site where the user gets "restricted" access (less that full functionality) during a trial period, but "full" access once ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Benefits of Software Patents for the software developer (freelancer, companies…)

As the current software patents stand, is there a need for software patents in regards to software development, and what benefits do they bring to the software developer in general? My question is ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I patent my logic for a pantry management system?

Is it possible to patent my own logic for determining if pantry items have gone bad in a software system for managing items? I don't expect there to be a god-given algorithm for this logic, but if I ...
6
votes
4answers
893 views

Software patenting questions

I am a student and I don't have enough money (not even nearly enough) to file a patent. I strongly believe in my idea and therefore I would give and do anything in my power to secure this patent. I ...
6
votes
2answers
219 views

Coverage and risk of ImageWare patents

I'm planning to create a biometric time attendance software but stumbled upon ImageWare Systems Inc. patents. Namely US7298873. I did some research and found couple reports on company: pumpstopper and ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

Can the developer of a free software be sued for damages because of an accidental patent infringement?

Assume that I created a free software that accidentally infringes on one or more software patents. Can the holders of these patents sue me for damages, even though I did not make any money from the ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Scientifically invalid patents

This is going to be a weird question. I am an academic researcher. In my field there has been a key topic whose "accepted" solution has been known not to work since 1962. Nobody had been able to ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

File Provisional Application without some implementation details

I found a problem in the world, right now this problem is not solved properly(already did patent search, did not found anything similar to it or any product on the market). I know how it can be solved ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can patents on computer file formats be obtained?

Preface When talking about file formats (= data formats intended for files), it is easy to confuse the data format and the algorithm used to produce or decode this format. This is mostly due to the ...

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