Software patents

Patenting software: the expertise of Studio Turini

Our office files patent applications in all states of art, specifically mechanical, electronic and chemical patents that are more “traditional” patents.

For many years, owing to our passion and spurred on by our client’s needs, we have gained a consolidated expertise in the protection of innovative solutions concerning new technologies, primarily software. We do not limit ourselves only to computer programs – traditionally intended applications, but also to those concerning APPs, Portals, Firmware, to which systems relating to Artificial Intelligence are added.

Patenting software is very important, also because programs, strings of code are one of the most important assets of a company and, above all, of a start-up. 

All innovative companies should try to obtain a software patent, which is essential to be able to compete in an increasingly computerized world in which the code compiled in proprietary form represents a true and high added value.

However, at present, while all programs are protected by copyright, not all programs are patentable. Only those that produce a technical effect, whether they are new, non-existent and innovative are patentable.

The definition of “technical effect” is not easy. Generally, it is considered that it exists when the program allows one to perform a function other than the normal interaction with the machine.

This technical effect can be external, for example when the computer allows one to control a machine from the execution of the program, or internal, when the program allows a different functioning of the computer itself, and therefore an improvement in its functioning and performances.

What is patentable? the method at the basis of the program

Whereas copyright protects basically the code as it is, the protection offered by software patents is close to an algorithm.

Thus, what is patented is the method at the basis of the program, not its source code or subject, that cannot also be created yet. Also, the language in which it will be drawn up is irrelevant. In any case, the source code and lists, even if they exist, must not be filed with the patent application – because they can only constitute the subject of protection in accordance with copyright laws.

Copyright protects a program like a literary work, because of the way it has been written, therefore, each time a program that performs the same function is written, according to the same steps but thanks to a different writing, the copyright is not infringed.

On the contrary, the patent protects the program as a method, provided that a technical effect exists and therefore from the point of view of the logical sequence of steps that it performs, both if they are expressed in a logical form and as an algorithm.Since a method can be translated into many types of programs – different from each other, obtaining the patent on the method offers a protection much broader with respect to holding rights on the source code only.

We have been involved in software protection since 2001

Software patent consulting: let the experts speak

Preparing the necessary technical documents to file a software patent is a very complex operation. A wrong description or a wrong drafting of claims may determine the impossibility of obtaining the patent.

What is patentable? The limit of patentability in the field of software is so subtle that drafting the text is always very difficult and risky.

Our patent consultants work side by side with the developer to prepare a patent application that can confer protection and can be granted.

When the software cannot be patented instead, or in addition to the protection conferred by the patent, it is possible to protect it by resorting to the field of copyright. It is a less strong protection because it protects mainly the program code. That said, it is still a good protection that can be summoned easily if the program is copied fully or partially.From the formal point of view, a software patent is filed in the same forms of a traditional patent. Please see the corresponding patent section of this website.

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    We are equipped with a specialized software for the management of patents, design, trademark, copyright's portfolios" Battista Software Project" - Studio Brevetti Turini s.r.l. Project co-financed under Tuscany POR FESR 2014-2020

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