Can I patent my business method or model?
Like many patent questions, the answer is “it depends”. If your business method is based in software, then you may be able to get a patent in the US. Business method patents are generally not patentable outside the US. There are strict regulations from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on how to patent a business method. Here are some general rules:
The USPTO requires your business method to be implemented in real, concrete, technical software. An abstract description of your method, without a clear tie to a software implementation, won’t be accepted.
For a utility (full) patent application, which is examined, the claims need to be properly positioned and structured. The USPTO has many rules regarding claims and patentable categories. A patent agent can help you structure your claims so that they are acceptable to the USPTO.
As always with patents, you can't patent obvious methods or models. You can't patent laws of nature. You also have to make sure that you are the first to file. Just with any other invention, your software has to be novel and inventive (non-obvious), compared to the prior art.
Patenting business methods or business models is a complex process. It is advised to seek a patent agent's help when filing for a patent like this.
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