People often call our office and ask "is it possible to patent my app idea?" normally followed by "what if the app isn't developed yet?" The short answer: Yes. The app you're wanting to protect simply needs to be a new, inventive idea that was never publicly disclosed or only disclosed within the past year. Also, it cannot merely be computerizing longstanding economic practices.
So, as long as your app idea has at least one additional functionality that others do not offer, you can file to protect it.
The court decision to know about when filing an app patent application: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International. If you've done any research on patenting an app, you've probably seen "Alice" come up in various articles. The main subject matter objection for app patents, where it arises, is the Alice objection. A recent Supreme Court Decision of Alice Corp. versus CLS Bank International basically prevents longstanding economic practice from being put in the form of software such as an app.
To overcome Alice objections at the outset, we use a three-point approach: Firstly, when drafting applications, we look to focus on what is new about the app, over longstanding commercial practice. Secondly, we ensure that the app offers “something more” to pass the second branch of the Alice test. Thirdly, we bring in hardware or external devices, where applicable, to avoid an application of Alice entirely.These are important strategic steps to consider when pursuing an app patent.
Hopefully, this information will help you to formulate a plan and feel more confident in the app patent process. We’ll be happy to provide an assessment of the likelihood of success of your app patent. Call us to discuss further: 858.263.7554