Possible? Yes. Easy? No.
- Software patents have a short shelf life—Software is unlike other inventions simply because of how quickly the old can be replaced with the new in a matter of a few short years. The real deal is that a patent application for software can take up to 4 years to complete. Typically, the commercial lifespan is long over by then.
- Copyrights and trade secrets can often provide enough appropriate protection. Copyrights may protect certain aspects such as the source code or the layout, but not the actual idea. Likewise trade secrets may also protect the source code and a few other software variables. Although neither provides total protection, they can offer a layer between your software invention and your competitors.
As I said, it’s not that you can’t get a software patent, but it may not be the best solution. Your best bet is to go over your options with an intellectual property attorney.
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