Patents for Business Methods



When you think of a patent, most people think of a physical invention like a new engine or tool. However, thanks to a 1998 federal court decision you can patent a business method. This is great news for software developers, internet companies, and business innovators.

As you can imagine, a business method or software patent is a little different than a patent for a physical invention. To get a business method patent, there are four requirements that must be met.

  1. The business method has to fit into one of the four classes of patentable subject matter, which are: process, machine, manufacture, and composition of matter.
  2. It has to provide a clear purpose and result. The burden of proof is fairly low for this, as long as you can prove your method helps and adds even a tiny amount of value, it should pass.
  3. Your method must be novel. This is where lots of people run into problems. To prove your method is novel, you have to show that it is unique from every other method in existence. Since the internet is so vast and numerous people are developing software, it’s hard to know if your method is truly unique. This is where extensive research and an Arizona patent lawyer will come in handy.
  4. It can not be obvious, meaning you can’t patent a method that someone with industry skills can easily figure out. This is another area where a patent lawyer will be a big help.

When you apply for a business method patent, get ready for a long wait. On average it takes at least two years from the original application to get approved. As if the waiting wasn’t bad enough, during this time you can’t stop other companies from using your method. Only after you’ve been approved can you take legal action to stop others from using your business method.


Client Approved

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"Our company has worked with a number of patent attorneys and were so pleased when we began working with Parsons & Goltry nearly a decade ago. Mike Goltry's knowledge and attention to detail has enabled us to have numerous products patented and trademarks registered. We highly recommend this Law Firm."

- Sharon K.

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"Michael Goltry is the most professional, honest and effective patent attorney whom I ever met in my 40 year professional engineering career. I started to work with him over 20 years ago and plan to work indefinitely."

- Zoltan Kemeny, PhD, Struct. Eng.

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"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."

- Ski Milburn, CEO, Victori, LLC

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"I applied for a patent through Parsons & Goltry. After being on the docket for 2 years at the USPTO, I received notification that my patent request had been denied. Michael Goltry contacted me immediately to review my options. After I informed him of my decision to move forward, he filed a response to the USPTO. In his response he got the examiner to fully understand the claims in the patent application and the "denied" decision was reversed. I was able to secure and receive a "patent granted" decision. Thank you, Michael Goltry."

- Kathy H., Inventor

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Our office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, but we service clients throughout the United States and Internationally.

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