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Patent Protection of Software and Hardware

Discuss about the Patent Protection of Software and Hardware.

Patent refers to the form of protection that is granted to an individual or a group with the exclusive rights for a particular product or a commodity on the making, selling or using the same. Any activity that is executed on the product without the consent of the patent owner may result in legal penalties and punishments. Computer software and hardware are the categories that are exposed to a number of risks and threats and a major portion of the same are associated with patent infringements. The report covers the necessity of patent protection on these categories of products along with jurisdiction and a few examples of law suits as well.

Patent protection is a form of legal protection that is provided to the product owner and provides them with the exclusive rights in the using, selling, copying and making of the product (McNamara, 2016). There are a number of steps that are involved in the process of patenting software or hardware. The patent rules and guidelines are different in different countries. However, the series of steps that are described below are followed in every country for availing patent protection on the software and hardware products.

  • Patent Eligibility: It must be ascertain the software or hardware for which the patent needs to be filed is original in all forms. The idea, built, components and all the associated details regarding the product must be original and not copies from anywhere. A prior art search must be done from the owner’s end and a series of verifications and validations are done by the patent body to mark the patent being filed as eligible.
  • The description of the product along with an abstract covering the product brief must also be submitted to the patent body once the patent being filed is found to be eligible. The description must include the product category, product name, list of owners, purpose of the product and the major features that the product will perform. The abstract must cover the reason which is present behind the application of the patent for the product (Quinn, 2016).
  • An application must then be submitted to the patent body which is usually regulated by the federal government and a filing fee is also charged from the applicant. The application would require the basic details of the applicant along with the design of the product, product description and abstract. The oath would also be required by the applicant that will be the product inventor to confirm the authenticity and originality of the product that may be either software or hardware. It will also provide the patent body to investigate and seek the inventor for further information.
  • A considerable time period will then be required to approve and confirm the patent that has been filed. The applicant may make the queries or inquiries regarding the final date and the status of the patent that will be informed to the same in a timely manner (Carnes, 2016).

There are a number of laws and legal policies that have been defined against the patent protection on the product categories specific to the software and hardware.

  • The prime requirements that United States look for in the software or hardware to be patented are the novelty, utility and the non-obviousness and it must be filed in a period of 12 months starting with the invention of the same.
  • European Union requirements for the patent protection of software and hardware is a mirror to the ones listed for United States and asks for industrial applicability, novelty and inventive step behind the for the same. The invention must be of technical nature in order to be eligible for patents.
  • There have been many revisions done on the patent policy towards software and hardware in Japan. The term that is required for requesting examination is three years in Japan and would mark a product to be eligible for patent if it is crated with the ability of being industrially applicable.
  • The patent policy in China is not very restricted and looks for novelty in the products that are sent for the patent application.

Comparison Chart

Comparison Chart

A comparison chart is shown above to understand the patent policies and jurisdiction that exists in different countries regarding the patent protection of software and hardware. United States is the only exception that follows a first-to-invent system whereas all the others believe in the first to file patent policy. The process of application also varies from country to country and the level of restriction also differs. United States is the least restrictive when it comes to the patent protection of software and business methods followed by Japan and then European Union. China does not consider business methods to be patentable (Chaleck et al., 2016).

There have been a number of cases of patent infringement on the product categories as software and hardware that have been filed in the past. One of the examples of such a law suit is the patent trial that continued between the two IT giants as Apple and Samsung.

The case started when Apple had filed a suit against Samsung in April, 2011 and accused its rival organization of copying some of the essential features and application that were invented by it which resulted in the decrease of the market shares occupied by iPhones and iPads.

List of Patents that were filed by Apple and Samsung was accused of the infringement of the same

List of Patents that were filed by Samsung and Apple was accused of the infringement of the same

·         Quick Links

·         Universal Search

·         Background Syncing

·         Slide to Unlock

·         Automatic Word Correction

·         Camera and folder organization

·         Video Transmission

Jurisdiction – Patent Protection for Software and Hardware

There were a number of demands from both sides in terms of compensation and penalties on the infringement of the patents. As per the final verdict, quick links and automatic word correction were the patents that were found to be infringed by all the Samsung devices whereas none of it was convicted of the infringement of universal search and background syncing. The slide to unlock was found to be infringed in some of the devices and was absent from the others. Apple was found to have infringed the camera and folder organization patent is all of its devices whereas a few of them had the feature of video transmission as well.

Both the companies were found to be guilty of the accusations that were imposed and were ordered to compensate for the losses that occurred as a result. Samsung was asked to pay $119.6 million to Apple and Apple had to pay $158,400 to Samsung. There was also involvement of Google in the case as Samsung has reported these features to be a part of Android operating system implemented in its devices which was created by Google. However, that did not change the verdict that was given by the jury.

Technology has expanded itself over all the sectors that are present and a major transformation has been done in the field of computer software and hardware. There are a number of cases of patent infringement that are seen in this sector and it is necessary to protect the patented assets from the infringement cases. The primary reason behind the patent protection for software and hardware is the restriction that it puts on the illegal usage of these products without the consent from the patent owner. There are numerous cases wherein a replica of a web application or a web site is created and the makers of such applications attract the traffic of the original application towards them. These activities are also done with the objective of fraud or theft by the means of impersonation. Patent protection aids in the prevention of such activities and in case the criminals are detected and convicted, then considerable legal penalties and punishments are also imposed on them. It provides the owners with the rights to prevent their creation from being copied or used illegally (Tysver, 2016).

Conclusion

Patent protection for software and hardware is a significant step towards the protection of novelty and originality associated with every invention of both of these product categories. The rules and laws that guard the patent processes must be very applicable and strict to make sure that the cases of infringement are reduced and the profits for the original inventor of the products are not impacted negatively in any manner. There are laws that are created by countries that vary from one country to the other and must be followed by the users as well as the product creators to prevent the violation and illegal usage of the same.

References

Carnes, D. (2016). How to File a Software Patent. [online] Info.legalzoom.com. Available at: https://info.legalzoom.com/file-software-patent-20377.html [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

Chaleck, J., Gupta, A., Kong, D., Li, J. and Lin, J. (2016). Applicability of Patent Protection to Software Inventions. [online] Available at: https://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/csep590/04au/clearedprojects/Chalecki.pdf [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

McNamara, B. (2016). Patent and Copyright Protection for Computer Hardware and Software. [online] Foley.com. Available at: https://www.foley.com/patent-and-copyright-protection-for-computer-hardware-and-software/ [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

Quinn, G. (2016). A Guide to Patenting Software: Getting Started. [online] Ipwatchdog.com. Available at: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2013/02/16/a-guide-to-patenting-software-getting-started/id=35629/ [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

Tibken, S. (2014). Apple v. Samsung patent trial recap: How it all turned out (FAQ). [online] CNET. Available at: https://www.cnet.com/au/news/apple-v-samsung-patent-trial-recap-how-it-all-turned-out-faq/ [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

Tysver, D. (2016). Why Protect Software Through Patents (BitLaw). [online] Bitlaw.com. Available at: https://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/why-patent.html [Accessed 27 Sep. 2016].

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2018). Patent Protection Of Software And Hardware. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/patent-protection-of-software-and-hardware.

"Patent Protection Of Software And Hardware." My Assignment Help, 2018, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/patent-protection-of-software-and-hardware.

My Assignment Help (2018) Patent Protection Of Software And Hardware [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/patent-protection-of-software-and-hardware
[Accessed 18 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Patent Protection Of Software And Hardware' (My Assignment Help, 2018) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/patent-protection-of-software-and-hardware> accessed 18 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Patent Protection Of Software And Hardware [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 18 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/patent-protection-of-software-and-hardware.

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