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Software

Sterne Kessler helps software and other technology companies overcome 101 patentability challenges to obtain patents that can be defended and monetized.

Sterne Kessler has always been a pioneer in the field of software patents. In this post-Alice environment, we understand what it takes to protect software innovations, get patents allowed at the USPTO and defend or enforce those patents in an environment where validity will be challenged in every venue.

Software remains a critical driving force for the global economy, providing greater efficiency and more sophisticated forms of digital entertainment. Innovation is key to the industry's future growth and health. Yet, recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court — particularly the Alice decision — have made patenting software innovations increasingly challenging.

We have been, and continue as, a pioneer in the field of software patent protection. More than a decade ago, we were lead counsel for IBM in the landmark In re Beauregard appeal to the Federal Circuit, which resulted in the issuance of the Software Patent Guidelines by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. More recently, we were at the center of the Alice case, having obtained that patent for Alice Corporation and having co-counseled on the U.S. Supreme Court case. Sterne Kessler attorneys have published and spoken on this industry for more than 30 years.

Today, we focus on overcoming challenges associated with subject matter eligibility under §101 and on the optimal use of intellectual property to increase shareholder value. We apply an integrated approach to IP — working collaboratively to meet new challenges and providing the best advice and strategic counsel.

Our IP professionals have experience across a wide variety of software-related technologies and keep abreast of the state-of-the-art legal issues surrounding the protection of software-related inventions, both in the United States and internationally. These include protection for business methods and pure software applications; data and databases; open-source software issues; and the interplay of patent, trade secret and copyright protection. Representative software technologies in which we have experience include:

  • Business and financial transaction methods
  • E-commerce and internet applications
  • End-user application programs
  • Compilers and interpreters
  • Database applications and data structures
  • Data storage, mirroring and mining
  • Language translation
  • Network communication protocols
  • Operating systems
  • Scripting languages
  • Security and encryption
  • Simulation and testing
  • Web-based applications

We represent companies in the software technologies ranging from startups to established software development companies.