Key Points for App Patents
- Patents require full disclosure, meaning someone skilled in the art can make use of the invention without undue effort. Mobile and web apps typically include software, Since inventors want to include their coding, they instead use flow charts the process and the steps required for a programmer to create a working version.
- Patents require all people involved in a invention’s conception be listed on a patent. In a web or mobile app I feel the inventorship goes to the people who develop the design specification. Then people who put the design into practice do not need to be listed on the patent. If you are working on a patent be sure to have a design spec document to avoid any conflicts.
- Patent law states that an invention cannot be patented if it was described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date. Being first to file is not enough receive a patent, you must be the first to expose the idea to the public. So filing early is important to get ahead of all potential competitors.
- Inventors of web and mobile apps often roll out new features as time goes by. If they were covered in the original patents specification, inventors can file continuation patents and keep their priority date. If they add new information they need to do a continuation in part patent which has a later priority date. A continuation in part patent if filed after one year may have the original patent cited as prior art. Avoid problems by starting the patent process for new features before the one year time period of your original runs out.