This article is an external collaboration from UpCounsel.
You have a great new idea for what you hope is the next big app. You did your research and you could not find anything out there that is even remotely similar. You have brought together investors and are working with a team of developers and now you are wondering whether you can protect your idea by securing a patent. But is it patentable? Can you patent an idea for software?
The Old Way
Not too long ago, the question of whether an idea was eligible for a patent had a really simple answer: yes! It was often said that “anything under the sun that is made by man” is eligible to be protected by a patent.
United States patent law 35 USC § 101 defines what may be patented as “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” This would seem to include software, and in the years since…
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