Distributed software systems: make sure you get your patent claims right

In times of the IoT, cloud and XaaS, most software products are geographically distributed, oftentimes even across countries. Make sure your software patent claims reflect this.

Don’t mix up functionality of different entities in the same claim.

If you do, your claim might never be directly infringed because no single infringer realizes all claim elements, or realizes some of the claim elements abroad.

So for instance, for a client-broker-server architecture, draft one separate independent method claim for each entity: a client claim, a broker claim and a server claim.

Also include one apparatus claim for each entity. If drafted properly, they might be infringed in Europe already if the entity is suitable for performing the claimed function, even if it does not actively do it.

This can be very helpful with software in which certain functionality is included in the code but not activated for the customer.

Happy innovating,

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Hi, I'm a European patent attorney with a computer science background and a partner at one of the largest IP firms in Europe. About | Contact