Can software be patented after being made public?



Let's say I made software initially publicly available, but some time in the future I decided I wish to patent it. Could I? Is there any time limit on how long after making software publicly available that I have to patent it?


Posted 2012-09-21T21:29:57.920

Reputation: 285

1Is this for the US or another country? Also in the US software alone is not patentable based on 35 USC 101 – Plepleus – 2012-09-21T21:48:37.890

1@Plepleus The US – ahenderson – 2012-09-25T13:55:07.790



In the United States, for any invention you have 1 year to file:

35 U.S.C. 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent. A person shall be entitled to a patent unless —

(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States


Posted 2012-09-21T21:29:57.920

Reputation: 331

3Most other countries give no grace period. I.e., the patent must be filed before making the product publicly available. – Dennis Crouch – 2012-09-22T03:55:07.897

1And some countries give 12 months grace period and some gives 6 months. – Mikk Putk – 2012-09-22T16:40:41.767


Note that as of March 2013 (for apps filed after then) these rules change in the US; there is still a one-year grace-period -- but only as to your own disclosures. If someone else publishes the concept (or something that would make your invention obvious) before you file then you are (probably) out of luck.

Polk Wagner

Posted 2012-09-21T21:29:57.920

Reputation: 171

Do you have a reference/source? – Pacerier – 2014-06-05T03:03:17.537