2
$\begingroup$

I have finished a new method (implemented as an algorithm/software) which exploring data inputs obtains a sequence of steps, appliable for different industrial processes, that reduces drastically material and human resources as well as energy and time.

For example. This method gives the optimal commands for managing an arm-robot to arrange 7 tones of different size stones in 10 pallets of 1 cubic metre in 60 minutes instead of the current process that needs 3 arm-robots (and others) for performing the same task in 30 pallets and in more than 300 minutes.

Note that for different processes and inputs (a different set of stones) it will produce a different sequence of commands, so it is generating new industrial processes for each new task.

I know that software that implements industrial processes are patentable in US and EU but as I´ve exposed it is not an industrial process but an algorithm to generate some industrial processes.

Is this case of software patentable as a unique-global software for industrial processes or each case must be patented apart?

$\endgroup$

2 Answers 2

1
$\begingroup$

Some things in the field you describe are patentable and some are not. Unfortunately, above novelty and non-obviousness, the current huge hurdle is abstractness. The law on this in the U.S. has changed in the last few years in the direction of making it much easier to shoot down something as abstract. The broader range of processes you intend to cover the more likely that will trip you up.

It takes a very skilled patent attorney or agent to draft a specification and claims to avoid the abstractness black hole. You mention attorneys as not understanding your technical field. All USPTO registered practitioners (and those in other locations) need to have at least an undergraduate scientific or engineering background, unlike generic attorneys. I have met several PhD patent attorneys. You can find a practitioner who is expert in your field who has successfully prosecuted other's patents.

Your initial costs to answer your question will be a patentablity search and opinion on the abstractness issue. While it is not required that you proactively do a literature/patentablity search to "prove" your idea is novel, a search will save you money if it turns out not to be and can sharpen the focus of your claims to avoid prior work. The initial burden is on the patent examiner to show that it is not novel - then you refute.

In the U.S. and other places one does not necessarily need to be a lawyer to be a registered practitioner. Note: Stack exchange has a site dedicated to patent questions.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Disclaimer: you need to ask a legal expert: software patents is a very complex and specialized domain, so don't rely on strangers on the internet ;)

As far as I know some algorithmic methods are patentable, but there are conditions to satisfy, in particular about the novelty of the method. You would probably have to prove the novelty by doing a thorough literature review, it's probably not enough to show that the software leads to efficiency improvements.

$\endgroup$
5
  • $\begingroup$ Thx Erwan ... I don't rely on legal experts ... they don't understand the matter when I tell them about what the method is. $\endgroup$
    – Izar Urdin
    Feb 1, 2020 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ Well if you don't want to deal with legal experts your chances of getting a patent accepted are probably close to zero I'm afraid. $\endgroup$
    – Erwan
    Feb 1, 2020 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ First I want to know exactly if it is possible and what are the bases of the acceptance, I don't want to spend $10,000 explaining lawyers technical details for obtaining no success. $\endgroup$
    – Izar Urdin
    Feb 1, 2020 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ I hope somebody will give you the answer you're looking for, but I think you're underestimating how complex the process is: a patent is an investment in order to have commercial exclusivity, which is usually worth much more than 10k. It's usually done by companies which have a team of legal and technical experts working on it for a long time. Anyway you should probably try to find any similar patent in your jurisdiction databases, to see what it looks like. $\endgroup$
    – Erwan
    Feb 1, 2020 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ I have patented other "inventions" and taxes did not cost more than a few thousands. I know that software/methods are more complex because technicisms are not easy for lawyers, but formalization should be the same. $\endgroup$
    – Izar Urdin
    Feb 1, 2020 at 20:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.