Have you developed a unique online ordering process or an innovative Internet advertising plan? Then, you may be able to get an Internet patent.
An Internet patent, also called a business method patent, combines the use of software or the Internet with business methodology. Unlike a mechanical invention which is an actual physical object, a business method is a process or a sequence of actions used to complete a specific task or produce a specific product or service.
If a company obtains a business method patent, then they can stop other companies from using the patented business method for about 17 years. Or, a patent owner can charge others a fee to use it.
In order to qualify for a patent, the business method must meet four requirements.
The method or software must be:
- Patentable – It cannot be a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, an abstract idea, or a general concept.
- Useful – in other words, it must provide a concrete, tangible result.
- Novel or different in some way from previous methods or software. Plus it cannot have been used publicly or written about in a published document.
- Non-obvious – that is, it would not be obvious to someone with ordinary skills in the technical arts.
Want some more clarification on the qualifications for a business method patent, feel free to contact us at Brannon Sowers & Cracraft PC.