PatentNext Summary: In some instances, software-based patent applications can fail to include a sufficient algorithm describing “how” the software interacts with the underlying hardware of the invention. This can lead to issues in both prosecution and litigation, creating unnecessary expense or invalidation of a related patent. Therefore, as a general rule, software-related patents should include an algorithm. An algorithm provides support for a software-related patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 112(a), including (1) by providing sufficiency of disclosure for the patent’s “written description” and (2) by “enabling” one of ordinary skill in the art (e.g., a computer engineer or computer programmer) to make or use the related software-related invention without undue experimentation. Without such support, a patent claim can be held invalid.
The below article provides additional details. This article forms the second part of a multi-part series. The first part, focusing on indefiniteness pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 112(b) and (f), may be found here: Why including an “Algorithm” is Important for Software Patents (Part 1).