7 Reasons to Get Patent Protection for Your Software Creation

Are you wondering how to protect your latest software development? Read here for seven reasons you should get patent protection for your software creation.

Did your team recently develop a new type of software? No matter which industry you’re in, this is a major milestone that’s worth celebrating. 

Once you enjoy the fruits of your labor, you might launch immediately into logistics. One of the questions you might be asking at this juncture is whether or not you should seek patent protection

This is a critical step in your development journey and one that could shape the future and longevity of your product. Today, we’re sharing seven reasons why this is a smart move and how to get started.

1. Ensure Your Software Stays Functional

If you’re looking at this decision from a purely financial standpoint, you may be thinking about pursuing a copyright for your software or classifying it as a trade secret. While this might be a more affordable option, keep in mind that both types of protection only cover your software expression, aka the coding behind it. 

If your software is copyrighted, no one can blatantly copy the code. However, that’s essentially where the limit lies. There’s nothing to stop a competitor from developing their own version of your software, even if this means reverse engineering your own design. 

On the other hand, a patent does protect this intellectual property. It secures the functionality of your product, so you can rest assured that other businesses can’t create competing products that follow the same computation or algorithm. 

2. Position for Venture Capital Funding

Are you at the helm of a tech startup or small business? If so, you may need venture capital funding to take your software development efforts to the next level. 

Before you can secure these funds, you’ll need a way to assure venture capitalists that your business is worthy of their time and money. They’ll want to know that your ideas have tangible value. If you can present them with a solid patent portfolio, it could go a long way toward increasing your company’s overall valuation. 

This is a pointed way to demonstrate that you have a unique and competitive product to offer. It also shows that you believe in your product enough to invest in protecting it and you’re not asking them to help fund a half-hearted idea. 

3. Lead the Competition

When you spend so much of your own resources developing a type of software, you want to make sure a competitor can’t go in and copy it right away. We’ve discussed how getting a patent can protect the expression and functionality of your product, but in many ways, it could deter them from even trying to infringe on your space. 

If they want to create a solution that’s similar to yours, competitors will have to expend a significant amount of effort, always seeking to ensure they don’t violate the terms of your patent. Even if they do manage to code their product in a way that’s technically permissible, it might not be as high-quality as yours. 

With so many barriers to entry, businesses will often steer clear of even trying to copy a system. This even applies to larger enterprises that would otherwise have the resources to make their own version if such protections didn’t exist.

4. Ability to Pursue Legal Action

If you have a software patent in place, then you can take legal action if another company or individual illegally uses or copies your software without your permission. If your case is successful, you can collect the damages. 

You may be able to pursue litigation even if the infringement is minor in nature. Without a patent, you may have a more difficult time proving that the competitor utilized your ideas unfairly. 

5. Build Software Licensing Revenue

With a software patent in place, your business can negotiate licenses for your product. This would allow other companies or entities to use or sell your software, and pay you the royalties. When done correctly, this setup can help your business generate a substantial amount of passive revenue. 

This is also a great way to get your software into new industries, even beyond the ones you initially thought could benefit from your product. If you don’t have a patent on your solution, there’s not as much incentive for big companies in another industry to partner with you, or pay you for your product. 

Instead, they could just make their own software with the tech resources they already have in place. A patent puts an obstacle in their path, so they have to go through you, first. 

6. Applications Speak Volumes

While it’s best to go through with getting your software patent, even just filing the application can make a major impression. It could be the only thing you need to make sure another company doesn’t get its own patent using the algorithm you made. 

This is because a patent is known as a defensive publication. This means it’s a type of intellectual property strategy used to prevent another party from developing a patent. 

7. Add Value to Sales and Acquisitions 

Do you have any plans to sell your company down the road? What about entering into a merger or acquisition? If so, a patent could be a valuable item to have as you enter into those transactions. 

It can be a powerful negotiating strategy, and serves as evidence that your ideas and innovations have real, marketable value. 

Learn More About Patent Protection

Now that you know a little more about the benefits of securing patent protection for your software product, are you interested in taking the next steps forward?

While you could navigate the process on your own, it can be complex and complicated. That’s why it’s best to work with a patent or trademark lawyer who’s already well-versed in every step you need to complete. 

At Berkeley Law and Technology Group, we offer a variety of legal services designed to meet our clients’ needs. From patent licensing to patent sales, we do it all. Contact us today to learn more!

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