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A software patent can be defined as a patent that is provided to enhance the performance of the computer by means of the computer application.
As modern society is totally dependent on the computer technology, without software a computer cannot operate. So it is necessary to provide intellectual property protection to the software as well as other businesses. A patent protection is provided on a country basis. Patent law of each country takes effect within its own border.
Before considering any patent software following things should be kept in mind:
A patent application must be applied in each country where you want to seek patent protection. A patent application must comply with substantive as well as formal requirement. When compared with copyright a patent enjoys right for a shorter period of time i.e. only for20 years. Cost of obtaining a patent is costly.
The software is used with hardware, what you wish to protect from your competitor may differ. Such a consideration will help you assess the possibilities to obtain a patent for an innovation.
Only an invention may get patent protection. As the patent law is applicable to all the inventions made in the field of technology. A patent may be granted only for those inventions which will provide solutions to the technical problem. Patent registration is done as per the law prevalent in particular country so one should before taking any software patent check whether particular innovation is patentable under that law or not.
You have to fulfill the requirement of that country where you want to register your patent. A patent can be enforced only in that country where it is granted. To facilitate the filing of patent applications internationally, the patent co-operation treaty provides an international filing system, under which an applicant may file a single international patent application having the same effect as national applications filed in each contracting state of the PTC.
It is very important to draft a good patent application for patent registration because later on there are very limited chance of its amendment. Unless you are familiar with both technology and intellectual property law it is advisable to consult an expert for drafting an application.