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Preparing Software Patent Applications in 10 Minutes or Less USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable (Stanford University) Aseet Patel Patent Attorney (and.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing Software Patent Applications in 10 Minutes or Less USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable (Stanford University) Aseet Patel Patent Attorney (and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing Software Patent Applications in 10 Minutes or Less USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable (Stanford University) Aseet Patel Patent Attorney (and former U.S. Patent Examiner) Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. office: FEBRUARY 12, 2013

2 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, Agenda 35 USC 112, Para. 1 –Enablement of Software Inventions –Written Description Practice Pointers for In-house Counsel & Patent Attorneys Examination Suggestions for U.S. Patent Examiners

3 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, What Is a Software Patent? “Software is all about the implementation of a function across machines.”

4 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, USC 112, Para. 1 – Enablement & Written Description Enabling Disclosure? – Wand Factors: 1.Scope/Breadth of Claims 2.Nature of Invention 3.Amount of Direction/Guidance Present 4.Presence/Absence of Working Examples 5.State of the Art 6.Relative Skill in the Art 7.Predictability/Unpredictability of the Art 8.Quantity of Experimentation Needed

5 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, State of the Art & Relative Skill in the Art State of the prior art existing at the application filing date is used to determine whether a particular disclosure is enabling. –file I.D.S. –use incorporation by reference – 37 CFR 1.57; MPEP 2181 In re Hayes Microcomputer Prods. (Fed. Cir. 1992) “Essential Subject Matter” Relative skill in the art (PHOSITA) at the application filing date – adequacy of disclosure? –the nature of the invention (Wand factor) –the role of the computer program in carrying it out –the complexity of the computer programming

6 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, Presence/Absence of Working Examples Commercially available product Specific hardware and off-the-shelf products Prophetic examples – “blue sky” patenting (MPEP )

7 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, Amount of Guidance/Direction Present Algorithm, Flowcharts, & Pseudo-code –functions v.s. acts Other – configuration file, XML file, data file, other human-readable file $1,000,000 question-- What level of disclosure is sufficient?

8 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, USC 112, Para. 1 – Enablement & Written Description “While some inventions require more disclosure, the adequacy of the description of an invention depends on its content in relation to the particular invention, not its length.” In re Hayes Microcomputer Prods. (Fed. Cir. 1992). Written Description

9 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, In-house Counsel: Who Should Be Included In Software Invention Disclosure Meetings? Outside Counsel Business Development/Marketing Project Manager Computer Programmer Others?

10 BANNER & WITCOFF | USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable | February 12, U.S. Patent Examiners – Examination of Software Patent Applications Glossary– contemporaneous dictionary, cite to specification Clear written record – esp. 35 USC 112, para. 6 means-plus-function claim limitations Require information submission from Applicants – 37 CFR 1.105

11 CHICAGO, IL Ten South Wacker Drive Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 6060 T F WASHINGTON, DC th Street NW Suite 1200 Washington, DC T F BOSTON, MA 28 State Street Suite 1800 Boston, MA T F PORTLAND, OR 601 S.W. Second Avenue Suite 1900 Portland, OR T F Aseet Patel Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. For updated slides please visit


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