«Software is patentable.»
Patenting Software and AI/ML: Highest-quality patent applications
drafted by the software-savvy Patent Professional
The proper legal protection in Europe for the inventions of your own Digital Transformation. Benefit from our expertise in patenting Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Your ideas matter – if you use them strategically.
Patent protection for software: computer-implemented inventions, computer systems, computer networks, cloud-based solutions, cryptography, compression, human-machine interaction, control and measurement/diagnostic software, application and uses of software, computer simulations (real-world link required in Europe), databases, database management systems, Big Data analytics, and much more.
Patent protection for AI/Machine Learning: artificial intelligence (AI), supervised and unsupervised learning, artificial neural networks, classification, clustering, feature engineering, artificial intelligence training, new models, training methods, generating and using artificial datasets, pre-processing of training data, new application fields and application areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
A widespread misconception: software is not patentable (in Europe).
Software inventions are becoming more and more important in the context of digitalization and are therefore being filed for patent more and more frequently.
A major misconception is that software is excluded from patent protection in Europe and that patents on software solutions are therefore impossible.
Accurately: There are legal regulations in Europe which state that software cannot simply be protected as such by a patent, as is the case, for example, with business models and the like.
However, technical applications and technical internal improvements are prime examples, which can be excellently protected from competitors with correctly drafted and sufficiently detailed patent applications.
So remember: If software is technical, it is protectable and patentable.
Have your software invention hence protected by a specialized patent attorney.
Due to the additional hurdle mentioned above, the correct technical assessment by the patent attorney and the corresponding application including patent claims are even more important for software than they already are for invention patents in general.
Therefore, the choice of an experienced patent attorney specialized in software patents is absolutely advisable.
A poorly drafted patent application that fails to clear the technicality hurdle amounts to an irreparable squandering of your precious and valuable intellectual property. In such case, a patent will then not be granted and the invention will become freely available to anyone.
What do these findings mean for practice?
We cannot simply submit your software on a data carrier in order to obtain patent protection. Rather, it is necessary that we identify important technical aspects of your software solution in a thorough study together with you in order to prepare a suitable and promising patent application for you.
Choose a patent attorney experienced in the special field of software.
Strong protection for software is based on a mutual complementation of patent and copyright protection. This is because copyright law only protects the concrete form of the software that you have created – but not your technical know-how in it.
Further introductory information in English language is provided, for example, by the European Patent Office or the Austrian Patent Office. (Dutch-speakers may find this useful.)
For the patent protection of your software, we advise you in particular on which aspects you should protect, taking into account the possibilities of patentability. For the rest, we adhere to the multi-step
In only 7 structured steps to a high-quality patent application!
We take into account the latest developments in case law in the field of computer inventions and artificial intelligence when preparing your application documents.
Get in touch with us now for your individual consultation.
Thomas Rössler, Ph.D., LL.M.
European Patent Attorney (EPO)
European Trademark and Design Attorney (EUIPO)
Former European Patent Examiner (EPO)
United States (USPTO) Patent Agent [currently inactive due to U.S. residency requirement]
LL.M. (Dresden/Seattle, Intellectual Property Law)
Ph.D. (Theoretical High Energy Physics)
Thomas is an internationally active intellectual property and patent attorney, representative and advisor. Originally a physicist by education, he deals with all types of intellectual property issues.
Over the years, Thomas has been managing a plethora of cases, usually in the various technical domains of mechanical and electrical engineering as well as computer-implemented inventions.
In the particular computer/software field, he is a renowned expert regarding the possibilities, but also the pitfalls, in the procurement and defense of computer and software inventions, including simulations, which are currently receiving a great deal of patent law attention in the context of advancing digitalization.
Thomas has contributed to many publications in the scientific, the technical as well as the legal fields.
He is furthermore one of the very few European Patent Attorneys who have themselves worked at the European Patent Office (EPO): His professional experience as a Patent Examiner at the EPO proves to be very useful in his daily patent prosecution work as an attorney.
Flowchart: Assessment of Software Patentability in Europe
Divided and joint patent infringement meeting extra-territorial reach of protection: A study of Germany and the United States (Master of Laws)
A Unified Patent Court for Europe - University of Washington School of Law, 2020, Seattle, Washington, USA ( PDF version)
Navigating the Intersection Between Patent Prosecution and Patent Litigation. Conference Panel Talk, International Intellectual Property Law Association (IIPLA), 2021, Las Vegas, USA [link to be posted]
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